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Bring back Giovannis ......

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I have never understood the passion that some people have for Jamies Italian, sure some of the food items are good, but really with no thanks to Jamie, it is all down to how good the team is on each ship.

I fully understand there can be some benefits to being associated with a so called Celebrity Chef but has the time come to reduce the association with Jamie, who is definitely going out of favor here in the UK.

He has recently closed several of his restaurants across the UK, simply because they are losing money, and only this week announcements were made by the money men behind the brand that many others will close, and they are closely monitoring further sites. Also as he has asked for rent reductions on continuing operations, I hope Royal have applied for reduced fees from him.

I see no reason why a similar menus could not be offered on ships under any Name, and therefore any fees that JO takes from the association would be removed, allowing either more profit to Royal, or a better quality product for guests.

I believe that Royal have a very capable Senior F&B management team, and creative chefs that are more than capable of producing an interesting Italian styled dining product.

After all it was in house that created Wonderland which is the most creative restaurant on the new ships.

I don’t know how big a name Jamie Oliver is in the States, but with so much of the fleet spread around the world, I would question if Jamies should be featured on future ships. My vote is NO.

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I haven't tried Jamie's yet, but I hope to do so when we go on Harmony in January. I didn't like Giovanni's enough to go there again and I was hoping Jamie's would be better.

 

I just wish there were a good Italian restaurant on the ships. Some of the food sounds a lot better than it tastes.

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I have never understood the passion that some people have for Jamies Italian... My vote is NO.

 

My gf traveled extensively in the UK and loved Jamie's on land, having dined in 3 of his venues. She really looked forward to Jamie's on Harmony. Huge disappointment for her., not even slightly resembling on shore side restaurants.,.. I didn't know any better, however having dined in many Portofino's and Giovanni's on previous ships I found Jamie's to be a worse option as well.

The mushroom risotto + Osso Bucco at Giovanni's has been consistently one of the better meals we have on a RCL cruise.

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About a year ago there was some rumor that JO is opening a restaurant here in Munich... So far we still don´t have one.

 

Actually I never understood the hype... especially for the Italian restaurants... We do have much better ones here in Germany and much more authentic ones. Sorry to say but how does a Brit be able to teach us Italian cuisine?

 

Anyway I haven´t been overly impressed by Jamie´s Italian onboard. The Plank is a nice thing but has nothing to do with cooking at all. Buy good products and place them on a wooden plank. That´s it. The rest of the food was nice but as I said... I´m living in the Northest city of Italy (at least that´s what Munich is called) and we do have excellent Italian restaurants here.

 

steamboats

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We had three reservations at Jaimie's as we dine at specialty restaurants every night. We went on the second evening, the only thing that was very good was the meat and vegetable plank then it all went downhill! We tried many items for appetizers and each of us had a different main course, we waited forever for our cocktails and service was not good, needless to say upon our way out we cancelled the remaining reservations and quickly walked to 150 Central Park and made additional nights reservations there as it is our most favorite specialty restaurant on the ship.

 

Jaimi's is "American Italian" the food is similar to Olive Garden and is on that level too! I also would so much prefer Giovanni's but I always thought Portofino's supersedes Giovanni's in a heartbeat. I like to see the old Portofino's back.

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We had three reservations at Jaimie's as we dine at specialty restaurants every night. We went on the second evening, the only thing that was very good was the meat and vegetable plank then it all went downhill! We tried many items for appetizers and each of us had a different main course, we waited forever for our cocktails and service was not good, needless to say upon our way out we cancelled the remaining reservations and quickly walked to 150 Central Park and made additional nights reservations there as it is our most favorite specialty restaurant on the ship.

 

Jaimi's is "American Italian" the food is similar to Olive Garden and is on that level too! I also would so much prefer Giovanni's but I always thought Portofino's supersedes Giovanni's in a heartbeat. I like to see the old Portofino's back.

 

Honestly I would rather eat at Olive Garden than Jaime's! We did not enjoy Jaime's at all and definitely missed Giovannis! Hope they either change back or give us a new offering soon.

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A decade or so ago, I remember almost universal bad food in the UK, unless I spent a fortune at a hotel restaurant. Then I discovered Jamie’s and I was like this is pretty good. (Actually, the food in the UK has improved in general in the UK in the last decade). I then made Jamie’s a regular stop on our trips. Then in 2013 with a good customer while visited Edinburgh I saw a Jamie Oliver’s had just opened recently. I was like this is a great restaurant we are going to have a good meal tonight. Turned out it was the worst meal we had in 2-1/2 weeks in Republic of Ireland, Scotland and England. So, it is not just on the ships. We have eaten a couple of times since in London and it was fine. The cruise ship twice again the food is fine. I don’t find the restaurants to be that much different except in the UK the servers are usually English young people with tats and piercings, and on the ship they are from China or the Philippines sans tats and piercings.:evilsmile:

 

I wish they would ditch Giovanni’s and Jamies and go back to Portofino.

 

JC

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We have some great Italian here in little Rhode Island so I can't say I'd miss either JO or Giovanni's. The ambiance of Portofino's was very nice.

 

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

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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.

Edited by crbonfiber

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Another vote for Portofino

 

:cool::cool: More votes for Portofino’s !!! Not in love with either Giovanni or Jamie’s.

Portofino’s even over Chops.

:D:D

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I always end up being disappointed with the dessert at Giovannis after the array that they had at Portifinos. I really miss the tiramisu made in a chocolate cup with 2 chocolates sticking out. All with a shot of Baileys and cream on the side.

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Jaimi's is "American Italian"....

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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Another vote for Portofino

 

Hello,

 

Me too!

 

Cublet

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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 will confess to being a Jamie Oliver fan, I have most of his books. I have also eaten authentic Italian food, in Italy. I didn’t find the Italian dishes served at his restaurants to be inauthentic at all, unlike the food we had at Giovanni’s which was also delicious, but not authentic.

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We don’t care for Jamie’s. The land based on in our city is nothing special. I like Giovanni but I LOVED portofino

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Miss the Spiedino di Mare at Portofino.

 

 

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.

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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 [emoji23]

 

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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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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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.

 

 

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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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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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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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.

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Jamie's was pretty much packed every night on Harmony a couple weeks ago. Until that changes....good luck.

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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.

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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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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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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.’

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Italian lasagna is made with a bechamel sauce, not ricotta.

 

 

 

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

 

 

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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 !

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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.

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