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Food on MSC

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On 11/17/2019 at 12:23 PM, floridian1 said:

we found NCL's food alot better than MSC's, except for MSC's pizza. We also felt the buffet had better options on MSC. Otherwise the dining rooms ad speciality dining (in our opinion) was not as good on MSC. But with that said we booked another cruise with MSC - wasn't a deal breaker.

This has been our experience as well - we found the food on HAL, RCCL, Celebrity & NCL superior with a larger selection. Food is also not a deal breaker for us.

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On 11/21/2019 at 12:24 AM, Norwich Cruiser said:

We’ve never found MSC food particularly good and that in YC has in our opinions declined also.

We were certainly disappointed in the dinner offerings in Le Muse (YC restaurant on the Divina).  Breakfast and lunch was very good and we had no complaints.  Dinner, at best, was a mixed bag with a few mains (such as some of the risottos) nearing "excellent" while other mains (such as most of the meats) were not fit for a low cost restaurant.  One exception was the rack of lamb which was near-perfect.  And in Le Muse they had this annoying habit of including asparagus which was so stringy as to be non-edible.  Regarding the asparagus I actually challenged the ship's executive chef to produce some decent asparagus.  He personally delivered a large platter with freshly made asparagus which was difficult to cut much less eat.  He did apologize and said the problem was the raw product.  Ironically, we were just on the Emerald Princess where they had excellent asparagus :).  

 

As to the Lido buffet, we did go there for a few lunches and thought it was pretty typical of the buffets on most cruise lines.  One exception was the pizza (MSC has pizza in their Lido for breakfast, lunch and dinner) some of which was pretty good.  DW and I especially enjoyed their white pizza which used some decent cheeses and was well seasoned with garlic.  I also enjoyed their Italian Sausage which I made into a nice sandwich with the grilled onions/peppers that were next to this item.  It was the kind of spicy sausage not often found on cruise lines where "bland" seems to be the major criteria for most items.

 

Hank

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Another case of "food is subjective." And not just a little bit. A LOT subjective. So much so, that I really wish people would just STOP asking "what's the food like?" posts. There are just too many variables: when did you eat, what don't you like, do you like spicy, salty, not salty, seafood, no seafood, were you judging a dish based on objective criteria or your personal definition of what it should've been, etc. etc. Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I pay NO attention to people's views on food. With that said, we've had food that averaged from, well, average (our only Royal Caribbean cruise, our 2nd Costa cruise) to very good (first Costa cruise, our two Carnival cruises) to excellent (MSC Seaside 2018). Most of the time, I would compare the quality of meals I've had on cruise ships to what I'd get from a good land-based restaurant. Considering all of the variables and the fact that they're serving food and drink to 1,000s of people at a time, I think all cruise lines do a pretty stellar job. Again, just an opinion, take it or leave it. Cruising is, for us, one of the most value-friendly vacation options due to the ports, activities, gyms, saunas, food, cafés, bars, pools, movies, etc. If not every single aspect is 5-stars, OK. What vacation is, unless you're a millionaire, and we're not.

Edited by DCGuy64
corrected spelling

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In 54 years of crossing and cruising I have found it all depends on who is working in the galley (kitchen).  It is possible to have great food one week and then horrible food the next week.  

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22 hours ago, CGTNORMANDIE said:

In 54 years of crossing and cruising I have found it all depends on who is working in the galley (kitchen).  It is possible to have great food one week and then horrible food the next week.  

 

An absolutely correct observation!  Some Executive Chefs are better able to execute the corporate menus that they receive than others.  During "Behind the Scenes" tours on more than one HAL/Carnival ship, I was told that the Executive Chef is able to "tweak" the corporate menus that they receive.  My experience:  some of these Chefs are better "tweakers" than others.

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On 11/26/2019 at 9:00 PM, CGTNORMANDIE said:

In 54 years of crossing and cruising I have found it all depends on who is working in the galley (kitchen).  It is possible to have great food one week and then horrible food the next week.  

ABSOLUTELY . 

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I used to say the worst food I ever had on a cruise was on the long defunct Epirotiki Line. The food on MSC was far worse. Most food items were cold or lukewarm and most meat could neither be cut or chewed..Many items such as the awful chicken cordon blue according to my waiter come out of a box and are only heated onboard.

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We have cruised 3 times (56 days) with MSC this year all in the Yacht Club section of the ships and the pricing was very competitive. I would compare to a sky suite on X and you have a large pool deck and lounge with butler service the restaurant for YC guests, the food is not as good as X but it had improved  (our last cruise ended on 10th Nov). 

 

They have taken on a new VP of F&B from Celebrity and the improvements have shown between May and October, I will say that food is subjective so you will get lots of opinions

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I've been on 2 MSC cruises, and am booked for a 3rd on the Mera. I've eaten in the MDR and in the buffet. I never went hungry, and to me the food was fine. The only con was the buffet had a limited selection.What was there was good. These food reviews are from the Divina.

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Thank you Tapi for the information, and everyone else!  I agree about not limiting yourself to one line only to get possible perks.  I've only been on four cruises and have been on three lines.  I just thought it would be nice to maybe possibly get a little status on one line.  Lol about meat and potatoes Americans.  Just like lots of things, some people will try new food and some won't.  I love trying new dishes and eating a variety of things as does hubby.  I have one close friend that is the pickiest eater and really will only eat chicken for an entrée.  No ham, no fish, no pork no shellfish, no steaks, no carrots, no cranberry sauce, no pumpkin, no dessert that's not chocolate, no this and that and anything the slightest bit different from what she's ever eaten in her life (ridiculous.)   I just won't eat bananas or rice pudding (will starve first) and almost everything else, I'll consider. lol

 

I agree Nikki about food not being everything, and also not expecting champagne on a beer budget.  I declined to go on a family cruise with my husband and his family because they picked the Armnonia.  I did not want that to be my only vacation this year.  I saw the reviews and said that I'd rather wait for even a slightly nicer cruise.  Of course ships have to cut back here and there.  I just didn't want to go on MSC if the food overall was yucky and has very little variety.  I was asking earlier because even though HAL is considered a little better (at least food wise) their prices were similar.  Plus we enjoyed our first cruise with them on the Eurodam.  I'm glad I didn't go on that cruise with them, they hardly paid for any extras and didn't want to do any excursions.  It would have annoyed me.  Plus his sister took away the tips from the housekeeping staff, which is awful and I completely disagree with that.   So luckily hubby has agreed on a cruise for just us two.

 

As of yesterday, we finally decided to go on the Nieuw Statendam and we're looking forward to it.  Maybe later we'll try a MSC ship, mainly to go to Ocean Cay!  Seaside or the Meraviglia

 

 

Edited by smilesntravels
addition to one sentence

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I've never found the need to complain about any food on a cruise or at an all-inclusive, or any hotel.  I read so many negative reviews, so thought I'd ask.  Since you're eating on the ship for seven days, or so, it came to mind.

I also liked the food on our NCL cruise.  The food on my first two Carnival cruises was fine, too.

 

Happy cruising!

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On 11/24/2019 at 9:17 AM, Tapi said:

I’m someone who stuck with a specific cruise line in an effort to attain their loyalty status. Interestingly, once I attained it, I didn’t care for it.  I learned that it wasn’t worth it limiting myself to one cruise line for the sake of perks, some which don’t really make or brake my vacation. So now I bounce around from cruise line to cruise line and don’t care about loyalty status. Life is truly much better this way. 
 

 

I'm glad you came to this realization.

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On 11/15/2019 at 6:36 PM, travelsmileandlearn said:

Hi all,  My husband and I are planning on booking a cruise in December (we always do it sort of last minute.)  He recently went on the Armonia with his family.  I declined to go because they picked the cheapest cruise they could find with the oldest/smallest ship in the fleet.  Part of the reason I didn't want to go was because of so many bad reviews.  Most of them said the food was pretty bad- paraphrasing.

I was all set on picking HAL's Koningsdam as we've been on one HAL cruise and loved the service and food.  And, we're not picky people and rarely complain if we don't like something.  But we did love the food.  So I'm wondering if I'll be disappointed on a MSC cruise.  He told me on the Armonia that the food was okay, and there were no beef choices for dinner besides the one steak on the menu each night.  I've also read that MSC pretty much has the same thing in buffet day after day.  

We also thought about NCL's Encore as it's brand new.  So anyway I've narrowed it down to Koningsdam, Encore or Seaside/Mera.

Now I'm looking at the Seaside and Meraviglia, and with the new Ocean Cay port starting early December, that has me interested.  People say both of these ships are stunning.  Can anyone compare either HAL to MSC's newer ships, or compare the Armonia (smallest oldest ship) with the Seaside or Meraviglia.

Thank you in advance!  We're not super picky about food, but do love variety and nice selections.  Late 40's without kids 🙂 

1. Forget about the Armonia. No way.

2. The Encore is the worst ship in the Breakaway & Breakaway Plus family.

3. The Meraviglia - never confuse this floating anthill with a real ship like the Seaside, they are different animals.

The only choice from your list is between the Koningsdam and the Seaside.

You'll find way better food and service on the Koningsdam. However, the Koningsdam is a pale shadow of the HAL best ships. The ship has a stigma of a declined cruising experience vs the previous class.

The Seaside, on the contrary, has much more spirit being the best MSC ship ever built. 

Unfortunately for the Seaside, she has a huge disadvantage in the comparison vs Koningsdam: class segregation. The Koningsdam is fully egalitarian ship with no smell of class division. You'll never feel like a second class passenger on the Koningsdam.

So the choice is tough.

We took a cruise on the Seaside this spring instead of the Koningsdam, but we were in the Yacht Club that made the choice obvious.

So go with the Koningsdam for much way better food and service, or go with the Seaside for more fun and way better entertainment.

Happy cruising!

 

 

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I have been on the Seaside twice, not in YC, and I have never felt like a second class citizen.  Seaside is beautiful and we have enjoyed every moment in “steerage”.

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I'm on the Mega next week and paid 199.00 plus fees for a aft facing balcony. The quality of the food will not be a concern. 🙂 

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On 11/29/2019 at 3:44 PM, sfaaa said:

Every time I cruised on MSC, I gained on average 5 pounds. Bad food? Not to me.

if I eat only pizza for a week because the rest of the food is inedible, I'll gain more than 5#, but would my weight gain be a good indicator of the food quality? Nope.

I gained 3# on the Regal Princess last week. The food was absolutely great, and I ate with gusto and didn't limit myself.

I gained the same amount of weight on NCL, but we hated the food. This was the only cruise on which I ate a lot of french fries at the buffet because everything else (MDR and buffet) was subpar (that doesn't include breakfast buffet which was pretty good).

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On 12/2/2019 at 9:27 PM, runner15km said:

I'm on the Mega next week and paid 199.00 plus fees for a aft facing balcony. The quality of the food will not be a concern. 🙂 

we will be on Mera next April for $1,600 for an inside cabin for 3, and yes, food quality will be a concern. We can only travel during school breaks, so we cannot choose to sail anytime we want for $199pp.

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4 minutes ago, Itchy&Scratchy said:

we will be on Mera next April for $1,600 for an inside cabin for 3, and yes, food quality will be a concern. We can only travel during school breaks, so we cannot choose to sail anytime we want for $199pp.

Glad to see we're not the only ones who can't just cruise whenever.... I'm looking forward to retirement so I no longer have to "ask off" for vacation, LOL.

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8 minutes ago, DCGuy64 said:

Glad to see we're not the only ones who can't just cruise whenever.... I'm looking forward to retirement so I no longer have to "ask off" for vacation, LOL.

I've got like 20+ years to go until that point. Or at least until the kid is 18 and goes off to college. :)

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3 hours ago, Itchy&Scratchy said:

I've got like 20+ years to go until that point. Or at least until the kid is 18 and goes off to college. 🙂

Yes I'm retired but would love to be your age again. 

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Got off Seaside on 11/22 -  Eas in Yacht Club and the food WAS NOT memorable or as "special" as MSC touts.  Had some HUGE misses from Falafel that came out looking like undercooked peanut butter cookies and bland as all heck to soggy onion rings at lunch and meat temperatures all over the place.   The standout in the Buffet is the Pizza and it has not much else going for it.  

 

Now that being said Roy's Asian Kitchen was wonderful.  But there is a surcharge.

 

 

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On 12/2/2019 at 6:14 PM, ronbe65 said:

1. Forget about the Armonia. No way.

2. The Encore is the worst ship in the Breakaway & Breakaway Plus family.

3. The Meraviglia - never confuse this floating anthill with a real ship like the Seaside, they are different animals.

The only choice from your list is between the Koningsdam and the Seaside.

You'll find way better food and service on the Koningsdam. However, the Koningsdam is a pale shadow of the HAL best ships. The ship has a stigma of a declined cruising experience vs the previous class.

The Seaside, on the contrary, has much more spirit being the best MSC ship ever built. 

Unfortunately for the Seaside, she has a huge disadvantage in the comparison vs Koningsdam: class segregation. The Koningsdam is fully egalitarian ship with no smell of class division. You'll never feel like a second class passenger on the Koningsdam.

So the choice is tough.

We took a cruise on the Seaside this spring instead of the Koningsdam, but we were in the Yacht Club that made the choice obvious.

So go with the Koningsdam for much way better food and service, or go with the Seaside for more fun and way better entertainment.

Happy cruising!

 

 

Thanks Ronbe, and lololol about the floating ant hill!   And I totally agree about the Armnonia.  I only mentioned it because hubby's sister picked it for a family cruise and I thought 'ugggh, why the oldest smallest ship she could find?'

I've heard that some regular HAL passengers don't like the changes on the two newest ships.  I'm not that picky but like going on newer/nicer ships.  I have heard though that the entertainment isn't all that great.  But for me, cruises go by way too fast so if I'm bored for ten minutes it will be okay.

Interesting your comparison of the Meraviglia and the Seaside.  I read a couple reviews where it was said that the Seaside is better on the outside parts and more for warm weather, while the Meraviglia is nicer inside.  

Anyhow, we're not doing any of the ships I mentioned after all!  We decided (well, I did) on the Nieuw Statendam.  I wanted the newest HAL ship if I could, plus the itinerary was better....so, win win.  Plus it wasn't offering the drink package and I asked my TA and she got it for us at about $100 per person 🙂 .

Thanks for the input everyone

 

Edited by smilesntravels
Added one more sentence

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20 hours ago, Itchy&Scratchy said:

we will be on Mera next April for $1,600 for an inside cabin for 3, and yes, food quality will be a concern. We can only travel during school breaks, so we cannot choose to sail anytime we want for $199pp.

I work for a school district here in VA and know what you mean.  But a lot of staff take time off, besides holidays and I see kids occasionally out for several days for a vacation.  Could you possibly take your kids out for one week to cruise at a great price?  Just a thought 🙂.  I'm able to take time off when I want and we're going on a cruise next week on the 15th at a great price with all of the Christmas decorations up.

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Was on the Meraviglia in Oct.  Loved everything about the cruise except the food.  I didn't go hungry (how could I with such good pizza?) but there were some really inedible things.  Take "the grill" in the buffet: one bite of a hamburger (which I later found out was a turkey/beef burger) and into the garbage it went.  They also ran out of things during the meal...for example, the omelet station closed early and some days omelets weren't available at all.

The good part is I didn't overindulge in desserts as I do at the NCL buffet because there wasn't very much to overindulge in.

A true gourmet wouldn't be happy.  A gourmand would do just fine.

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