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What Line Has the Best Food?


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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...
Seabourn and ask me mid August about Oceania (supposed to be a foodie cruise line with all its included restaurants, also Bon Appetit @ Sea).

 

Many cruises later and there is no doubt in my mind Oceania's ships, really are the best for dining in every respect. The food is so good both in quality and presentation in thier beautiful onboard restaurants and buffet. Recently returned from a 54 day voyage from Tahiti to Southampton on Marina and every day the offerings and service provided where absolutely wonderful. My wife and myself can't wait to sail again on Marina.

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  • 6 months later...

I've only sailed on Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean. Sometimes some of the dishes I've order have not been good, but when that happens I just order something else. I'll focus on the MDR (main dining room). To me, the atmosphere is just as important as the food quality. Royal Caribbean wins hand-down here. The MDR on the voyager class (and presumably the freedom and oasis class) is very elegant. Carnival and Norwegian felt more crowded with considerably lower ceilings.

 

As for the food itself, all lines to me have hits and misses. I always love the Pumpkin soup on Carnival (usually served the first formal night). The Fillet of Beef on Royal Caribbean to me is fantastic (again, usually offered the first forma night). I don't recall any dish being really excellent on NCL, but none were really bad either.

 

Desserts were usually better on Carnival, but then I'm usually too full to enjoy MDR dessert. On Royal Caribbean, I sometimes skip MDR dessert and get something from Cafe Promenade later -- their desserts are usually very good.

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I've been on 2 Carnival cruises, 3 Princess and 1 RCCL. I found the food on Carnival to be almost inedible. The Princess food is very good and very consistent. But, the food on RCCL was fantastic! I gained 5 lbs. on a 4 day cruise!

 

Anybody who tells you that a particular cruise line's food is 'inedible' should be ignored. Cruises, all lines, have some of the best food available anywhere. None of them come remotely close to inedible. What a ridiculous statement!

 

In my experience Carnival was slightly better than Princess but that is a sampling of one Princess ship and two Carnival ships so it is hardly representative of the line. In any case, both were much better than the vast majority of land based restaurants in the USA.

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While it is true that everyone has a different palate (I have cruised Celebrity, Carnival, and Royal Caribbean), I have to agree with the others that Celebrity's food is by far superior to the others that I have tried. I realize ships & routes vary the meal choices, but presentation, taste, service, ability to accommodate special requests, etc -- I would say Celebrity wins in all categories.

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I have sailed on all of the less exclusive Lines (Crystal, Seven Seas, etc. have a dress code which doesn't suit me, way too dressy and we are very, very casual). There is no question in my mind that Celebrity had the best food on all the ships we've sailed. If I didn't love the dish I ordered (never really a problem as you just ask for something else) it was still obvious that the quality of food used was very good--there is an exception, dining in the Grill Suites on the Cunard line is indeed better.

 

Is it just me or do all the Lines need to improve their desserts? I swear that everything tastes pretty much the same to me, never much flavor, just sweet. On one family cruise on RCL we ordered one of everything from the dessert menu, passed it around and all agreed that no matter what each dish was supposed to be, they all tasted pretty much the same; even the ice cream is rather blah and flavorless. I never give up trying however, always ordering what sounds the best to me and then never failing to be let down with the result!

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My husband and I have cruised on Carnival, Holland America, Princess, RCI, Celebrity and just returned from our first cruise on Oceania. We would both say that Oceania tops all, but Celebrity is also very good.

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In the last 10 years I've been on Carnival, Royal & Princess.

 

Overall I think Princess is the best with Carnival a very close 2nd. Royal to me is average. Their pizza is atrocious (NYC/NJ girl) on Royal. Carnival desserts & the Steakhouse were some of the best I've had.

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I'm a fairly new cruiser and am a self-professed true foodie! Love to eat. If food is my focus (and quality is important), any suggestions for what line might be better for me than others? Thanks!

Lived in Fairlawn before moving to Ca.... hello.

I am taken over 60 cruises including most all of the "best names" and in my opinion the best cruise line for excellent food in Oceania.

Enjoy your cruise.

Lagunarn

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I have just returned from an eastern Caribbean cruise on the Royal Princess. The food was superb. The new ship and her sister ship, the Regal Princess (sailing May 2014) has a pastry shop that has excellent desserts. In the anytime dining rooms, my wife and I had Bananas Foster and Baked Alaska on two different meals. They have fresh baked cookies every hour, and fresh croissants every morning. If you don't gain weight on these two ships, something is wrong. While I have not sailed on other ships, one would be hard pressed to find better than on these ships!

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Lived in Fairlawn before moving to Ca.... hello.

I am taken over 60 cruises including most all of the "best names" and in my opinion the best cruise line for excellent food in Oceania.

Enjoy your cruise.

Lagunarn

 

I agree Oceania ships offer superb food.

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I have just returned from an eastern Caribbean cruise on the Royal Princess. The food was superb. The new ship and her sister ship, the Regal Princess (sailing May 2014) has a pastry shop that has excellent desserts. In the anytime dining rooms, my wife and I had Bananas Foster and Baked Alaska on two different meals. They have fresh baked cookies every hour, and fresh croissants every morning. If you don't gain weight on these two ships, something is wrong. While I have not sailed on other ships, one would be hard pressed to find better than on these ships!

 

Princess is just a start! Wait until you try Celebrity, Celebrity Blu, Azamara or Oceania -- just say-in!

 

Enjoy!

Kel:)

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I think each cruise line has its good and bad

 

RCI: good MDR and great fruits on their buffet. Their snack, dessert and coffee shops on the promanade deck cant be beat especially good quality for free!!!

 

Princess: MDR food is very good, italian restaurant is also good. I think their Chefs table is the best of cruise lines I have traveled. Good breakfasts with room service

 

Celebrity. Had some of the worst luck in their MDR. MY worst cruise food experiences. BUT on Infinity the SS United States consistantly had the best food I ever had on any Cruise ship. Steaks, lamb, seafood, souffles for dessert were exceptional every meal (we ate there 4 out of 7 days)

 

Holland America. Food was ok, but buffets had stupid hours (at least for the ports we visited) and closed even when people were still in that station filling their plates - duh! Exceptional room service meals - breakfast in cabin is better than having to go to buffet or MDR

 

Carnival: fairly consistant MDR, not exceptional but consistantly good and attentive service. Great frozen Drinks- they use Island Oasis products and they are very high quality mixes. Good pizza, chocolate buffet is very nice and burger bar also is nice.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have sailed on multiple cruise lines, and I must say that the very best food I have had was on Wind Surf, Windstar Cruises! And the head chef is very approachable, unlike a lot of other chefs who don't want to be bothered by the passengers.

Margaret

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We cruised on Carnival, Norwegian, Princess, Costa and Royal Caribbean. The challenge for the cruise food is the industrial operation that you have on your hands, serving 2-3,000 people in a 3 hour interval. Hence, I characterize the typical food in cruses as “wedding food”. Needs to look good, to be hearty, but also easy to be prepared.

For the normal sit-down restaurants, therefore there is little variation on the menu, so expect “wedding food”.

For the buffet, the quality is what you’ll get on a US franchise, with maybe more variety. The sushi will stay on the safe side, don't expect sashimi, but more California rolls.

 

The key, in my opinion, is to keep your expectations low, and that way you’ll be surprised several times on how good the food really is.

 

Now, to your question - I have to say that the best food was on Norwegian, on the specialty restaurants. If you are willing to pay the little extra, you can get a good French or Japanese food, or a really good steak (Cagney's), combined with great service. The wine list on Norwegian is not outrageously expensive, and you have a decent selection.

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I freely admit I haven't read all the posts since 2006 :eek: so I may be repeating others' opinions. As you can see by my signature I've cruised a bit and over a period of time. I, too, like Oceania's food a great deal, but I've become a fan of some of Celebrity's as well. It does vary from ship to ship, I must say. The best meal I've had on a Celebrity ship was in the Normandy restaurant on Celebrity Summit in 2012.

 

But I'll say they turn themselves inside out for people who have special dietary needs in terms of gluten free, etc. If you've sailed with them you know their menus are always coded for gluten, dairy, vegetarian, etc. My friend has celiac disease and cruises very, very frequently, sometimes as many as six times a year, mostly on RCCL and Celebrity. She has NEVER become ill. Yes, she's very careful and doesn't take chances. But that could mean she eats very plainly and doesn't enjoy meals. No true at all. She usually eats in the MDR, where the maitre d' works closely with her wait staff and the kitchen to make sure she gets nearly everything she asks for. She may get, say, cheesecake the next night (because it's not gluten free) but she can have it because all she has to do is ask. If they don't think they can make a dish on their menu gluten free to their standards, they won't serve bad food just because it's gluten free. Their weak spot as my friend sees it on Celebrity is the bread. She says RCCL has delicious bread, but for some reason, Celebrity's bread (they're the same company, mind you) isn't nearly as good. If she wants to go through the buffet, someone from management will come and take her through to assure her what's safe to enjoy. There, too, they'll make things for her. They offer GF breads, waffles and pancakes routinely at breakfast in the buffet, although you have to ask for them. They're trying hard to accommodate people.

 

Now if they'd just have a dependable supply of caffeine-free Diet Coke, I'd be a very, very happy passenger! :D

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Sailed Princess, HAL, Carnival, RCCL, and Oceania - Oceania has the best food (unless you just like to eat pizza, then Princess wins there). Oceania spends more money per passenger for food than any other cruiseline so they claim. My favorite dish from the outdoor grille is their Surf & Turf sandwich with Truffle fries - lobster tail and filet mignon in a bagette - and you can wash it down with a real milkshake. Their appetizers are great, more like the appetizers from the Chef's Table meal from the mass market lines. The only cruiseline where the meal from the MDR is equal or better than their pay restaurants except in Oceania you don't have to pay, just make your reservation.

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