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49 minutes ago, grandgeezer said:

 

Photos can be shot to enhance anything. When's the last time the food you had looked exactly how it looked in their ads?

My guess is never.

Looks are nice but taste is what counts and I think food has deteriorated caused by buying cheaper materials in order to increase the bottom line. It's edible, but there is nothing I've had on the ship that I would pay for if it was served in a land based restaurant, and that includes the specialty restaurants.

Totally agree with you. I’m one of the lucky ones, I lose weigh on a RCL cruise. Don’t waste the calories on below average food. Even specialty restaurants are a hit or miss. 

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7 hours ago, Biker19 said:

Not sure the OP is willing to pay $500 pppd rates to get that though.


But you get what you pay for if you want 5 star dining.
 

I guess if they want to pay less, the OP said Carnival has better food.  On that note my BIL says they also now use paper place mats on Carnival VS linens. I can’t say it’s true or not as I have never sailed Carnival but they only sail with them.  That being said it wouldn’t turn me off my food, just as attire and hairy legs in MDR would not as well 
 

For the premium you noted you do get your own personalized pajamas.

 

37412206-1FC0-4DA8-89B1-0CC515246D49.thumb.jpeg.16055c158b8b4c01daf4abddb0f61d48.jpeg 

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I don’t think the food on any mass market cruise line is what is was twenty years ago but for the price we pay for our cruise fare we are more than happy with the offerings.We normally do the three night dining package on Oasis class ships which is always pretty decent value.We certainly don’t starve.

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6 minutes ago, Norwich Cruiser said:

I don’t think the food on any mass market cruise line is what is was twenty years ago but for the price we pay for our cruise fare we are more than happy with the offerings.We normally do the three night dining package on Oasis class ships which is always pretty decent value.We certainly don’t starve.

Don’t starve but surely keeps me from over eating. Doesn’t stop me from cruising, I know what to expect. 

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13 minutes ago, Norwich Cruiser said:

I don’t think the food on any mass market cruise line is what is was twenty years ago but for the price we pay for our cruise fare we are more than happy with the offerings.We normally do the three night dining package on Oasis class ships which is always pretty decent value.We certainly don’t starve.

I think the 3 night is the best value and easiest to do. Trying to schedule speciality dinner nightly takes some of the spontaneity out of the cruise.

 

Carnival does have good bbq and guys burgers I like. But rcl has the best perks overall.

 

I agree for the money I dont want to pay for a 5 star experience. Isnt that why we are here doing rcl cruises. We have found for the money rcl provides the best overall value. Doesnt mean I cant enjoy other lines, but rcl right now is top value in my book overall.

 

Why come to rcl just to post food has gone downhill in the last 20 years. Go on the line you prefer. 

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4 hours ago, boscobeans said:

Everyone likes to reminisce about the food 20 or so years ago.

 

Back before specialty restaurants were in vogue or needed. Gone are the 5 star chefs like Michele Roux and the true 5 course dinners in the MDR.

 

Times have changed and we have learned to adjust to many things over the last few decades and cruising is just part of that evolution.

 

Of course it was much better then, but those who remember what it was like have to admit it isn't all that bad today..

 

So, what's a true 5 course dinner?

 

Pretty sure I can order one that way now

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I think the only mass market / family cruise line that has really good food is Disney Cruise Line... however, Royal Caribbean does a really good job with the food. The food appeals to a broader audience without going all out comfort food all the time like Carnival nor does it try to provide a full fine dining experience. Instead, I find the menu to be a well balanced to catered to the diverse demographic of those onboard. You have to keep in mind, the majority of cruisers dine in the MDR during dinner and they need to cater to everyone onboard with a menu that have enough selection to satisfy us while not overwhelm the galley. 

I also noticed that Royal Caribbean likes to “dumb down” the menu so every cruisers can understand the menu... if you really look like the menu and study it, the name of each dish tends to be more descriptive when they could of easily made it sound more fancy by using just a word or two... ie: They could of easily say Chateaubriand Roasted Beef Tenderloin and no one would of known the difference...

The one thing that Royal Caribbean does well outside the Caribbean and Europe is having dishes unique to that region the ship is in.. such as Kangaroo meat on Australia sailings and real authentic Chinese food on China sailings. The advantage of living in California is there are a ton of deals to fly to Asia and in some cases it’s cheaper for me to fly to Hong Kong and do a cruise than go to Florida. With that say, the differences when it comes to the food is night and day. Some of the best Chinese food, both formal and casual, I’ve had are on Royal Caribbean ships in Asia. 

When it comes to food, and everything else, Royal Caribbean doesn’t try to be something they’re not and seems to pride on consistency and on things they can deliver each and every single time. 

Edited by SkaterJasp
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1 hour ago, twangster said:

It seems mass market cruising isn't for you.  Cruising is far less expensive than it was 20 to 30 years ago.  You can still get the experience of 20 to 30 years by picking the right cruise line and paying a price like you did 20 to 30 years ago when adjusted for inflation.   

 

Perfectly stated twangster.

 

I would like to add, however, and some of you who are around often know that I have shared this opinion more than once... my 2 Oceania sailings were almost equal in daily cost as on RCL in a GS, however the experience of dining/service/furnishings/bedding...  everything was like comparing a Ritz-Carelton to a Best Western. If anyone wishes to have superb quality food and the best (better) of most everything (but no floriders, no IFly, weak entertainment, no Bionic Bar, no Aquashows, no DL/CL, etc etc) then they should truly try a higher end cruise line to see for themselves. It's not that more expensive whatsoever if you are normally in a RCL suite.

 

1 hour ago, A&L_Ont said:

But you get what you pay for if you want 5 star dining.

 

This^^^  1000%.

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1 hour ago, John&LaLa said:

 

So, what's a true 5 course dinner?

 

Pretty sure I can order one that way now

Sure you can..

 

However there were several choices for each of the courses. And they were spaced out over the dining period.

 

Soup

Salad

Appetizer

Main Course

Dessert

And many evenings there was an amuse en bouche to cleanse the palate between courses.

Edited by boscobeans
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One of the most annoying topics in cruising. "I want the dining of 30 years ago, with the price of today".

 

The truth is, that experience of yesteryear is still here. It has shrunk and not found on the big lines. Because obviously, the vast majority of people understand that you pay for it, and it's not that important. I have zero interest in eating 5-star steak and lobster everyday. I can get that here at home if I want. Why do I need to pay $1000 more to get it "included" on a vacation, especially when reasonable options already exist?

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6 minutes ago, Joebucks said:

One of the most annoying topics in cruising. "I want the dining of 30 years ago, with the price of today".

 

The truth is, that experience of yesteryear is still here. It has shrunk and not found on the big lines. Because obviously, the vast majority of people understand that you pay for it, and it's not that important. I have zero interest in eating 5-star steak and lobster everyday. I can get that here at home if I want. Why do I need to pay $1000 more to get it "included" on a vacation, especially when reasonable options already exist?

These are exactly my thoughts as well.  I really don't want to eat that way every night of a cruise, regardless of length.  We frequently eat at upscale restaurants at home, but there we can order an appetizer and split a salad and entree'. 

Frequently, I order a salad and appetizer,(maybe two), and dessert for dinner in the MDR. My husband also is a light eater.  I realize we are probably exceptions to the way most people eat on a cruise, but paying extra for a larger portions or more creative dishes simply isn't worth it for us.

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14 hours ago, Beeline Cruiser said:

I had such wonderful food on our first cruise! Such a fun time too before all the gimmicks!! Well it was yummy while it lasted - instead we pay for a rising tide bar - up and down - up and down, that is impressive! LOL!

 

Seriously, I always think I might remember our first cruise wrong that but then I actually get my feet onboard and something in me knows somethings been RADICALLY SHIFTED NOT FOR THE BETTER! I’ll start by asking why we can’t all come together and ask for better from head office?? I've never tried to turn a blind eye I may have to give it a try again but honestly, the Windjammer and main dining room have gone too far DOWNHILL!! I'm at home now and it definitely bugs me that I can get better food out of a can than some things in the buffet!

In general, cruise lines are catering the the contemporary cruiser. The cruise lines constantly review the menu items that sell and those which are prepared and end up as fish food every week. Foods swimming in fat-laden sauces are being replaced by gluten-free, fat-free organic quinoa to cater to the next generation cruiser. It is the next generation cruiser that will sustain the industry for decades to come. 

 

Us "old folks" who have been sailing for decades can sit around longing for the "good 'ole days" when you had to reserve and pay for a hard wooden deck chair and tip the chair attendant to set them up. We'll sail and eat whatever the cruise line dishes up. Spending money on food (e.g., % of expense) is not a measure of the quality of food being purchased. It is good business, competing the supply chain to get products at the lowest cost. When you see Coke products replaced by Pepsi, you will know that RCL cut a better deal with Pepsi. 

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Rccl excels in entertainment, mdr is equal to other large lines, I do find windjammer buffet awful. We normally eat most meals in specialty or possibly suite restaurant. Food was definitely a little better 30 years ago, remember having caviar as a appetizer in mdr. 

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If you want better quality food, pay more and upgrade. It is a very simple and straight forward concept. What is so hard to understand?

Edited by sfaaa
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51 minutes ago, BirdTravels said:

In general, cruise lines are catering the the contemporary cruiser. The cruise lines constantly review the menu items that sell and those which are prepared and end up as fish food every week. Foods swimming in fat-laden sauces are being replaced by gluten-free, fat-free organic quinoa to cater to the next generation cruiser. It is the next generation cruiser that will sustain the industry for decades to come. 

 

Us "old folks" who have been sailing for decades can sit around longing for the "good 'ole days" when you had to reserve and pay for a hard wooden deck chair and tip the chair attendant to set them up. We'll sail and eat whatever the cruise line dishes up. Spending money on food (e.g., % of expense) is not a measure of the quality of food being purchased. It is good business, competing the supply chain to get products at the lowest cost. When you see Coke products replaced by Pepsi, you will know that RCL cut a better deal with Pepsi. 

 

 

Hey!  I like quinoa!

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3 hours ago, Baron Barracuda said:

Per the RCL 10k five years ago across all their brands food cost totalled 5.9% of revenue.   Last year only 5.3%.  Over same period CCL decreased from 5.9% to 5.2%.   

This could mean they improve their management in food purchasing, controlling food cost and reducing wastage. It doesn't necessary mean they exclusively cut back on food quality to achieve a lower cost %.

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Cruising has changed and in so many ways is less expensive than it was.  I like the option of spending my money as I choose.  I like the entertainment RCI provides and use my extra money to buy dining packages to switch things up.   I like not eating all of my meals in either the buffet or main dining room but that’s me.  

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2 minutes ago, sfaaa said:

This could mean they improve their management in food purchasing, controlling food cost and reducing wastage. It doesn't necessary mean they exclusively cut back on food quality to achieve a lower cost %.

It can also mean they increased revenue in other areas that don’t food. The key, internet, etc.

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We cruise for itinerary and our enjoyment of sailing. We don't expect 5 star meals on our Royal cruises and can always find something we like to eat. 

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1 minute ago, Seville2Cabo said:

It can also mean they increased revenue in other areas that don’t food. The key, internet, etc.

My understanding is that direct food cost is always calculated as a % of food revenue without taking into account of revenue from other departments. 

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This is the way I look at food.  I didn’t shop for it, I didn’t have to cook it, and I don’t have to clean up after it.  So I know in a whole ship we can find something to eat.

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