Bring back Giovannis ......

#21
United Kingdom
405 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
Originally posted by little britain
Actually Jamie's is more like Essex Italian! Essex is a county to the north east of London well known for some interesting fashions and personalities. (google a programme called The Only Way is Essex for more guidance...)

ps: some of my good friends are from Essex so this is not a 'one size fits all' description #EssexDislaimer


What will our American friends here on the forum make of ‘The Only Way is Essex’ if they google it

I do know though that Jamie Oliver is rapidly going out of favour here in the UK and the chain is in a bit of trouble.


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#22
flushing, ny
6,686 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
I find the whole trend toward (and away from) licensing shore side restaurants on cruise ships fascinating....
I think it is really a gimmick, as the shipboard and shore side version's of "name" restaurants vary greatly. It might be different, if the shore side restaurants actually rented the space and operated the restaurant, but that is never the case....it is run by the cruise line and its employees, that rotate among all the other venues on board.

Other examples are the Todd English restaurants that were on Cunard, but now replaced by their own 'Veranda' restaurants.
On NCL, their Ocean Blue restaurants were associated with Geoff Zakarian, but no longer, and their former "Carlo's" bakeries are no longer associated with "Cake Boss" Buddy Valestro. They also ended their association with Nickelodeon for children's character's on board. However, they added Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville's....

RCI still has Johnny Rockets, Ben & Jerry's, and Starbuck's on board, besides Jamie's....

There are some other examples on other lines, as well...just can't recall them at this moment....
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#23
London
3,880 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Thanks for the disclaimer, as TOWIE is only a very poor caricature of the weird and not so wonderful of Essex, more like “a one size fits few”.
As for the comparisons by others, I would even prefer Olive Garden over Jamies, I suppose I have had too many poor experiences in his land based operations, and would prefer to avoid his operations when cruising.


Originally posted by little britain
Actually Jamie's is more like Essex Italian! Essex is a county to the north east of London well known for some interesting fashions and personalities. (google a programme called The Only Way is Essex for more guidance...)

ps: some of my good friends are from Essex so this is not a 'one size fits all' description #EssexDislaimer
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ChipLondon
has cruised with Royal, Celebrity, Princess, MSC, P&O & NCL.
#25
New England
760 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I also liked Portofino . My husband and I ate at Jamie's once and it wasn't that good. I will be back on Anthem again this year and may give it a second chance.
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#27
Texas
1,204 Posts
Joined Apr 2015
Originally posted by nelblu
Until it started getting skimpier. Towards the latter part of it's life, the half-lobster tail was the size of the grilled shrimp(s) in the MDR.

I remember the first time we dined at Portofino and I could easily rate it a 5 stars. The service was impeccable. My preference is Giovanni's over Jamie's, but I wish they had more traditional Southern Italian dishes that I'm familiar with.

We ate at Jamie's while cruising on the Anthem. We ordered the meat plank which was very good. My wife was looking at the Lasagna and wondered how it tasted. We were a bit disappointed with some it's ingredients. So I had the linguine with clams--asked the waiter for marinara "al-diavolo." My wife ordered the lamb chops. Both were good and the lamb chops (although not on the paper menu, but on the electronic menu) were excellent. Topped it off with nice dessert and cappuccino.

When we ordered, we told our waiter that some of the ingredients in the Lasagna was unusual. We went back & forth as I was explaining to him what a true dish should be comprised. He brought us the Lasagna entrée for us to try.
My wife enjoyed and I tasted it. There was a lot of meat, but a lack of Ricotta and Mozzarella. However, it wasn't bad. I tasted a certain sweetness to it. I inquired and was told that if was "Pumpkin." Very unusual.

During our 12 nite cruise, Jamie's was running as blackboard special of $14.99 for lunch on sea days and $19.99 for a 2 course special. Asked what was excluded form the dinner special and the waiter told us nothing. Could order any appetizer and entrée from the menu.
Italian lasagna is made with a bechamel sauce, not ricotta.
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#28
Sunderland England
6,436 Posts
Joined Dec 2016
Originally posted by lbjen
Italian lasagna is made with a bechamel sauce, not ricotta.
The main thing is it tastes nice and my vote goes to Giovanni's every time.
#29
Graham, WA
392 Posts
Joined May 2009
Jamie's was pretty much packed every night on Harmony a couple weeks ago. Until that changes....good luck.
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#30
Sunderland England
6,436 Posts
Joined Dec 2016
Originally posted by Husky1987
Jamie's was pretty much packed every night on Harmony a couple weeks ago. Until that changes....good luck.
Jamies was about half full on average on our 3 cruises on Harmony in 2016.
The metal chairs outside on Central Park were very uncomfortable.
#31
Graham, WA
392 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by grapau27
Jamies was about half full on average on our 3 cruises on Harmony in 2016.
The metal chairs outside on Central Park were very uncomfortable.
Yep, YMMV. I'm sure it varies from week to week.

Bottom line....as long as Jamie's is making money, why would they change? If they can make more money with Giovanni's, they'll make it happen. They're in business to make money...if that comes with a better Italian restaurant, then it'll be.
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#32
Jersey Shore
4,921 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by lbjen
Italian lasagna is made with a bechamel sauce, not ricotta.
What the heck are you talking about. In my household, Ricotta & Mozzarella are the primary ingredients in Lasagna, stuffed shells and baked macaroni. Don't even know what is béchamel sauce and if not red you keep it.
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#33
Central Illinois
124,287 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Originally posted by nelblu
What the heck are you talking about. In my household, Ricotta & Mozzarella are the primary ingredients in Lasagna, ... .
Same here, but I'd also like to hear from Ocean Boy's mother on this one.
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#34
14,029 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Originally posted by lbjen
Italian lasagna is made with a bechamel sauce, not ricotta.
Correct, traditional, Italian lasagna is made with a bechamel sauce, but most lasagna you see in the US is made with Ricotta.

As far as the Jamie's debate, we have enjoyed Jamie's on Anthem and prefer it to Giovanni's. The risotto that so many like at Giovanni's was a gloppy pile of sticky rice the two times we have had it. We would be much happier to see Portofino come back.
#35
170 Posts
Joined Jan 2015
Originally posted by reallyitsmema
Correct, traditional, Italian lasagna is made with a bechamel sauce, but most lasagna you see in the US is made with Ricotta.

As far as the Jamie's debate, we have enjoyed Jamie's on Anthem and prefer it to Giovanni's. The risotto that so many like at Giovanni's was a gloppy pile of sticky rice the two times we have had it. We would be much happier to see Portofino come back.
Jamie's would be perfect if they added a few more classic italian entrees to the menu. The pasta, from my experience, is far above Giovanni's.
#36
South Lancs, England
812 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by crbonfiber
I agree with this for the most part. Giovanni's old menu was great. The new one...Not so much. However, IMO RCI has got to address the food in the MDR as it is now so bad the Windjammer has better dinner offerings. I really think the food has gone down to an unacceptable level. I would rank RCI's food as the worst of any main stream cruise line. It was not always the way. The stock prices RCL is through the roof. I wish they would put more money into the food budget. Perhaps first time cruisers do not notice and thats why nothing is done about it. The new to cruise market seems to be the main focus. It makes me sad. I have been so loyal for so many years now and have watched something that was so great deteriorate into something less that special.
If the food quality is really taking a nose dive, as many people suggest, then the ONLY way to influence change is to mark down the food on the survey.
I know.... the servers say it hurts them, BUT there has to be a point in time when quality takes priority.

FWIW I believe the marks for food quality are not the responsibility of the servers but after speaking with them on several cruises, it would appear that is the case. Plain wrong in my opinion.
That opinion is written in the 'any other comments' section.
#37
South Lancs, England
812 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Originally posted by lbjen
I haven’t been able to eat at Jamie’s on board yet but I’ve eaten at two of his land restaurants, neither of them were the Italian brand though. I wonder how much of what is served on board now is from his original concept and recipes. It may be that they have had to rework the dishes on Harmony for the American palate.
I would guess that Jamie Oliver is merely licensing his name to be used by RCI. However, if I was putting my 'brand' onboard I would expect a level of quality to be upheld, after all it is his reputation at stake.

This is what Lisa Lutoff-Perlo had to say:
The partnership was ‘just one element of revolutionised dining concept to ensure the options we have on board reflect what today’s modern family looks for from their holiday’.
She added: ‘Jamie Oliver is known for pushing the boundaries within the world of food and Royal Caribbean has a history of pioneering many firsts within the holiday industry.
‘With Jamie’s Italian creating unique but accessible dining with food that is at its freshest and ethically sourced, we are able to guarantee guests will only be served the freshest Italian dishes possible while on holiday with Royal Caribbean.’
#38
Point Richmond CA
5,995 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by lbjen
Italian lasagna is made with a bechamel sauce, not ricotta.


Northern is Bechamel. Southern is Ricotta/Mozzarella (particularly Sicilian).


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#39
Virginia
1,081 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
Originally posted by grapau27
The metal chairs outside on Central Park were very uncomfortable.
SO uncomfortable, that we actually went into the common area in Central Park and retrieved a couple of the chairs there in which to sit. Those metal chairs are torture devices. ...and then the mediocre, at best, food was just a cherry on top !
#40
Sunderland England
6,436 Posts
Joined Dec 2016
Originally posted by icsys
If the food quality is really taking a nose dive, as many people suggest, then the ONLY way to influence change is to mark down the food on the survey.
I know.... the servers say it hurts them, BUT there has to be a point in time when quality takes priority.

FWIW I believe the marks for food quality are not the responsibility of the servers but after speaking with them on several cruises, it would appear that is the case. Plain wrong in my opinion.
That opinion is written in the 'any other comments' section.
It is wrong RC include food in waiters marks because very few people want to mark down the waiters in case they don't get their tips or lose their jobs so RC get a favourable response to food quality even when the quality does not deserve it.