Jump to content
,

Isn't a Cruise Ship Dining Room just a fancy Buffet?


Recommended Posts

I'm always reading articles about Windjammer and other similar cafes on other ships, where people hedge about the food, calling it Buffet food, "what do you expect". It's been a while since I have been on a galley tour, but aren't the cruise ship dining rooms nothing more than a "plated buffet". In the old days, they used to bring veggies around and you use to get what you want, but now they bring your food out plated. You get the idea that everything is stacked up back in the galley, plate by plate. What is difference between that and the Windjammer, other than you have to stand in line to get it. At least you get what you want, and can see what you are getting.

 

Any comments?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm always reading articles about Windjammer and other similar cafes on other ships, where people hedge about the food, calling it Buffet food, "what do you expect". It's been a while since I have been on a galley tour, but aren't the cruise ship dining rooms nothing more than a "plated buffet". In the old days, they used to bring veggies around and you use to get what you want, but now they bring your food out plated. You get the idea that everything is stacked up back in the galley, plate by plate. What is difference between that and the Windjammer, other than you have to stand in line to get it. At least you get what you want, and can see what you are getting.

 

Any comments?

 

Plated buffet huh? Well you know.......you may be closer to some truth than I thought about. LOL! I see you were on the Nordic Prince which was our first sailing..........there sure weren't 3,800 passengers or 4,200 passengers on that ship was there.....(fond memories).......it will only get worse with Genesis...........just no way you can make to order 5,000 steaks.........

 

I still think the food quality is better in the dining room........maybe they just do a better job of keeping it hot..........

 

but there is some truth to what you say.:rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I disagree totally. The food choices at the restaurant are different [for the most part] from the Windjammer. The major difference also is the service and the presentation. There's no comparison. If you don't want to sit and be waited on, then the Windjammer is the place to go, but if you want a restaurant meal complete with a waiter, drink service then by all means the restaurant is the way to go. On my recent trip on The Serenade I think the food was excellent and the service was even better. I would choose the restaurant hands down. There are nights though that I just want to relax in my room or do something else and skip dining at the restaurant. On those nights I either order room service, or pick one of the other dining choices.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is similiar in the fact that the food is cooked in large quantities and yes it is then pre-plated but to me one of the main differences is that hundreds of people didn't touch the serving utensils or several kids touch the rolls before I received them.

It is true that the steak I receive is not of the same quality that I get at Ruth's Chris but the service is just as good. Given the price that we pay to cruise vs. land vacations I think the food quality is quite good and will continue to enjoy it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i tend to agree with what many others have said, the food may not be five star , but it is more about service and a chance to sit in a nice atmosphere and enjoy the people or person you are with. i definitely prefer the dining room experience over buffets for many reasons

 

just my 2 cents

 

dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i tend to agree with what many others have said, the food may not be five star , but it is more about service and a chance to sit in a nice atmosphere and enjoy the people or person you are with. i definitely prefer the dining room experience over buffets for many reasons

 

just my 2 cents

 

dave

 

Absolutely! We never expected the food to be 5 star given the amount of people they're serving, but we've never had anything we didn't like, and quite a few things that were very good. It's all about the service; enjoying a bottle of wine (or two) with our friends, and the interaction with the wait staff. I also love being waited on like that all week, which ultimately ends up giving me a bad case of PCD.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agree with several of the above posts. The food is about 3 Stars and the service is fantastic.

 

What I have a hard time with is the formal dress codes. Just cannot see wearing a tux or a formal gown for 3 Star food.

 

###

 

I have been to many formal Christmas and New Year dinners on land, where the food was nowhere near as good and the service has been atrocious:rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm always reading articles about Windjammer and other similar cafes on other ships, where people hedge about the food, calling it Buffet food, "what do you expect". It's been a while since I have been on a galley tour, but aren't the cruise ship dining rooms nothing more than a "plated buffet". In the old days, they used to bring veggies around and you use to get what you want, but now they bring your food out plated. You get the idea that everything is stacked up back in the galley, plate by plate. What is difference between that and the Windjammer, other than you have to stand in line to get it. At least you get what you want, and can see what you are getting.

 

Any comments?

 

I so agree it used to be different but today u are correct.

 

If one wants finer dining u have to frequent the specialty restaurants..in my humble opinion anyway..

 

Have happy cruisin'!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a significant difference in ambiance from the dining room to the Windjammer

 

On my last 3 cruises and I do 2/3 per yr & have for 20+ yrs, I was seated at tables for 4.

 

In each case had at least 1 fellow at the table wearing a baseball cap EVEN on formal nite on 1 cruise (plus sandles). On 1 recent trip had a family with 3 children seated nearby that a lot of cruisers around me wld cheerfully have thrown overboard.. On another cruise a 'lady'? chewed gum & every second word was a swear word at my table the 2 nites I dined? in the d.r.

 

I have also noticed the noise levels have been rising steadily (guess more younger folks that are hard of hearing are cruising)..especially piped in music & announcements.. People don't talk at a normal level either anymore, they seem to almost shout but have to - to be heard over the ever increasing dining room 'din'!!

 

Some ambiance!!

 

Have seen a definate deterioration of ambiance and expect to see more in the d.r. as the 'dress rules - suggestions' due to pressure, are relaxed even further..

 

I frequent the specialty restaurants mainly now....Haven't seen a baseball cap 'allowed' in those YET..!!

 

If u cruised yrs ago u will understand what I am saying..

Sorry the rest of u missed the experience of a 'real' cruise..although u cld try Crystal or Cunard - That comes closer to what I remember!!

 

Have happy cruisin'!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a significant difference in ambiance from the dining room to the Windjammer

 

On my last 3 cruises and I do 2/3 per yr & have for 20+ yrs, I was seated at tables for 4.

 

In each case had at least 1 fellow at the table wearing a baseball cap EVEN on formal nite on 1 cruise (plus sandles). On 1 recent trip had a family with 3 children seated nearby that a lot of cruisers around me wld cheerfully have thrown overboard.. On another cruise a 'lady'? chewed gum & every second word was a swear word at my table the 2 nites I dined? in the d.r.

 

I have also noticed the noise levels have been rising steadily (guess more younger folks that are hard of hearing are cruising)..especially piped in music & announcements.. People don't talk at a normal level either anymore, they seem to almost shout but have to - to be heard over the ever increasing dining room 'din'!!

 

Some ambiance!!

 

Have seen a definate deterioration of ambiance and expect to see more in the d.r. as the 'dress rules - suggestions' due to pressure, are relaxed even further..

 

I frequent the specialty restaurants mainly now....Haven't seen a baseball cap 'allowed' in those YET..!!

 

If u cruised yrs ago u will understand what I am saying..

Sorry the rest of u missed the experience of a 'real' cruise..although u cld try Crystal or Cunard - That comes closer to what I remember!!

 

Oh & plse spare me the - 'things change' - I agree but not always for the better!!

 

Have happy cruisin'!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Read the OP post.........he never mentions ambiance or service. I agree those are much better in the dining room...........he didn't say there were not differences........he was talking about food.......and in this regard he may not be far off when trying to feed 3800 people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have been to many formal Christmas and New Year dinners on land, where the food was nowhere near as good and the service has been atrocious:rolleyes:

I can't tell you how many holiday, company parties we've to and been disappointed at for one reason or another. Three X-mas parties last year. One was fair (the cheapest one).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On my last 3 cruises and I do 2/3 per yr & have for 20+ yrs, I was seated at tables for 4.

 

In each case had at least 1 fellow at the table wearing a baseball cap EVEN on formal nite on 1 cruise (plus sandles). On 1 recent trip had a family with 3 children seated nearby that a lot of cruisers around me wld cheerfully have thrown overboard.. On another cruise a 'lady'? chewed gum & every second word was a swear word at my table the 2 nites I dined? in the d.r.

 

 

I could handle the baseball cap. I've never let what other people wear to dinner bother me. But I could not, and would not, handle the swearing. I would definitely ask to change tables rather than put up with that!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Up to a point you are correct. On one of the "science" channels (I think it was Discovery) there was a series called "Build it Bigger" or something along those lines. They did an episode on the Freedom class ships. Freedom was done and sailing. One was almost done and one was in the jig-saw phase towards the beginning. After visiting the ship yard etc, He ended up on the Freedom. One of the aspect of the show is that he does tasks that a typical employee would do.

 

Anyway, one of the task was helping out in the kitchens. There would be a line of cooks standing along a line of "steam" tables. A plate would be passed from cook to cook where each one added their particular item.

 

While this part would be buffet like, there is less chance that the food has been sitting in the steam tables for a long time as the potential is in the Windjammer.

 

Also as another poster mentioned, it is a lot more sanitary than when people serve themselves.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you had used the word "banquet" food, I might have agreed with you. After all no one should expect the quality of food prepared for hundreds or thousands of people at the same time to be of the quality that you would expect at a gourmet restaurant where your meal may be cooked to order and prepared in small portions. However, the ambiance and service you experience in a cruise ship dining room is certainly quite different from what you experience in a buffet restaurant either at sea or on land. On our Legend of the Seas cruise last February, some of my meals were exceptionally good and, in a few instances, better than meals I was served on Celebrity's Century a month or so later. Very few restaurants on land, including so-called gourmet restaurants serve other than plated meals but if quantity rather than quality is the determining factor for you when judging a meal, perhaps a restaurant that serves 'family style' might be more to your liking.:rolleyes:

As far as table companions, there is always some risk when people are arbitrarily assigned to dine together, but I am constantly amazed at how well the cruise line has matched us with people who turned out to be wonderful tablemates.:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just back from Majesty. We thought the food choices in the buffet was the worst of any cruise we've been on. Nothing appealed to us. We've never had this happen to us before.

Really? Must have changed considerably since we were there last month, I always find something to eat and considerin I am fussy and do not eat white stuff that is saying something.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well Thanks for all the comments! It shows what we all have come to recognize on these boards - everybody is different.

 

I wrote the original post because someone (not here in cc) started giving me all kinds of reasons why the dining room is so much better than the windjammer after I told them we would probably eat most of dinners there. All good reasons - for them anyway, but not for me.

 

Eating in the windjammer has advantages for me:

  • I can eat dinner anytime I want from 6pm on
  • I can pick and choose exactly what I want
  • I don't have some well-meaning waiter goading me into eating my green veggies
  • I don't spend the first 1/2 hour eating all the bread in the bread basket

Probably the biggest reason is that time goes very fast on a 7 day cruise, and I hate the fact that I spend so much evening time chained to a table waiting for all the courses to arrive, sitting through the singing waitors, etc. Maybe if it was my first or second cruise, the dinding room would mean more - at this point however, I value the time more.

 

By the way ISUJIM, the Nordic Prince was my favorite ship. I loved it's size and its intimacy, and you got to know everyone. Those days, the cruise was not so much "massmarket" as it is now. I think it was 1987 in August for that ship for us

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Buffet=I go to the large serving trays (troughs) and scoop out my own food.

 

Dining room=I pick from the offered menu and it is served to me on a tablecloth and with more silverware than I know what to do with. I can take my time, not throw it down and relax a bit.

 

Don't want to waste a minute of cruise time? I guess that's why some don't bother to change out of their smelly, stinky clothes they've worn all day. And keep that ball cap on so you don't have to wash or comb your hair. Nothing worse than being chained to a table in the dining room.

 

You guys knock me out sometimes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Buffet=I go to the large serving trays (troughs) and scoop out my own food.

 

Dining room=I pick from the offered menu and it is served to me on a tablecloth and with more silverware than I know what to do with. I can take my time, not throw it down and relax a bit.

 

Don't want to waste a minute of cruise time? I guess that's why some don't bother to change out of their smelly, stinky clothes they've worn all day. And keep that ball cap on so you don't have to wash or comb your hair. Nothing worse than being chained to a table in the dining room.

 

You guys knock me out sometimes.

 

Three years ago my hubby had surgery to remove a cancerous brain tumor. He had 32 staples and a lot of missing hair. He opted to wear a baseball cap when we went out to eat so our server and fellow customers didn't have to see the scars and staples.

 

Don't be too quick to judge your fellow passengers :(

 

###

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Buffet/Banquet. What is the difference? It is all prepared in mass quantities to feed thousands of people at the same time. It is far from 4 or 5 star dining, and is far from made to order and far from gourmet. Nothing special about it. At all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: Experience more Co-op Holidays
      • 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
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...