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Old 01-04-2007, 05:24 PM   #1
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Cruise Food

I have really not much interest in taking a cruise on one of those big ships. (Sailboat cruises are different). Herded on to a giant floating hotel like cattle, herded off at various stops to buy a bunch of tourist junk within steps of the mother ship, no chance of escape while at sea, etc.

But....
there's food, all kinds, all the time, right?

So my question for you cruisers is, is the food any good? That's the only thing that would tempt me to consider it

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Old 01-04-2007, 05:31 PM   #2
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Never been on one MB, for the reasons stated.

By I know quite a number who have.

In general as far as I can tell there is always plenty of grub.

If you are fussy about food and drink, some of the smaller, far more expensive ships, are apparently better (I work with someone who goes on those and really dislikes the grub on the less expensive cruise lines).

But so many others rave about them all.

Sure you'll get plenty of first hand experience here.

Frankly I don't want to go on one except maybe on the Alaska cruise, just don't have the time to see that state any other way.
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Old 01-04-2007, 05:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudbug
I have really not much interest in taking a cruise on one of those big ships. (Sailboat cruises are different). Herded on to a giant floating hotel like cattle, herded off at various stops to buy a bunch of tourist junk within steps of the mother ship, no chance of escape while at sea, etc.

But....
there's food, all kinds, all the time, right?

So my question for you cruisers is, is the food any good? That's the only thing that would tempt me to consider it
Bug, we just got back Dec.22 from a short cruise.. I dreaded it, but it was fun..You do NOT have to go on and off unless you sign up for the tours.. We got off several times but there were 9 of us and we went as a group and it was fun, cold but fun I'm not a big eater so I was overwhelmed at the way people on cruises eat..My DH and all the men hit the buffet every morning, noon, night the dinner seating for our bunch had the best chef and wait staff, they really impressed me in that Cade and Carson ,Trevor and Taylor were treated like royalty, anything they asked was right there within 5 minutes, the wait staff even sang and danced for us and we had a ball. Each dinner we were given a choice of starter 4-5 of them, salad-2 soups-2, desserts 4-5 but they would go get just a dish of ice cream if you asked..Coffee, iced tea, wine, mixed drinks,name it it was yours..Breakfast was also served in the dinning room each morning, eggs benedict,omelets,granola, bagels and cream cheese, wonderful hot oatmeal,waffles, pancakes, salmon, smoked trout..So the food was very very good.One night there was an after dinner chocolate night at 11:30, I didn't go but my daughter did and said it was wonderful..You never went without anything including a chocolate on your turned down bed at night..Would I go again, yes if I could get my kids to go to I'd consider it and I am terrified of water, they all, tried to keep me from even thinking water the whole time
didn't work but I made it even without the life vest I threatened to wear!!
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Old 01-04-2007, 05:44 PM   #4
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Being from Bermuda and living stateside, it is the cheapest way for me to get home and not worry about a hotel, staying with friends/family, and eating. I think the cruise is the best vacation money can buy.


As for the food, it depends on the line. Carnival is mediocre at best, celebrity was AWESOME, Norwegian was very good, Royal Caribbean was also very good. All the lines did have 24 hour service, be it room service or the little cafe somewhere on board...normally limited to burgers and pizza type stuff. The sit down "formal" dinners on Celebrity were stellar. Great variety, and great quality. The buffets were good too, but I preferred the dining room. They midnight chocolate buffets were d/w's fave, I liked the late night deck parties were the chefs would pull out all the stops. If you wanted to, you COULD eat all day. The range of cuisine is astounding as well, everything from Thai to Indian, Italian to Korean and everything in between.

From a professional chefs standpoint, it is always a blast just to watch the people in action. It is a great act of coordination, and skill, on EVERYBODY'S part. If you haven't been on a cruise, I recommend it.
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Old 01-04-2007, 06:54 PM   #5
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Carnival was just ok- while Norwegian, Royal Carribean, and Holland America all had some pretty great food, and they had it all the time.

By the way, some of the best food can be found off the boat, if the "tourist junk" doesn't catch your eye. As for me, I always like to make several alcohol purchases while in the islands, not only because its cheaper, but also because some of the small but very good rum makers aren't really large enough to export to the states.
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Old 01-04-2007, 09:50 PM   #6
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I think the last cruise we took was an NCL cruise - the food was mediocre at best. The common midnight buffet was transformed into a few waiters carrying around trays of mediocre finger food all over the ship.

Mud - you can get off at any port and do your own thing - that's the way to do it unless there really is an interesting tour. Walk a little distance from where they bring you into dock to find the more non-touristy places (the the bottles of alcohol get cheaper as you walk farther away too!)
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Old 01-04-2007, 10:57 PM   #7
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I'm so glad you introduced this topic Mudbug! I'd never have considered a cruise before either, but we're starting to talk about Europe, and it seems that something like a Mediterranean cruise might be a nice way to see several areas in one trip. I don't anticipate being able to travel to Europe more than once or twice in life, so I want to see a few things in one trip. I'm interested in hearing all I can about people's experiences.

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Old 01-04-2007, 11:21 PM   #8
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I've never been on a cruise. SO has and tells me I won't like it because of the food served. I believe her.

For the same reason, I have never done an "All Inclusive" resort. The food is too important.
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Old 01-05-2007, 02:38 AM   #9
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I took a cruise some 30 years ago. The ship had an informal dinning hall with a buffet. They also had a dinner club (jackpot!). The show at the club was on a french theme which included dancing and chorus numbers performed by a theatrics group. The menu was french. There were roses on the tables covered in table cloths. We dined at the dinner club twice during our cruise and attending some island festivals during the week.
I remember buying sandals and a sunbrella.
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Old 01-05-2007, 03:24 AM   #10
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Mud, if you are seriously considering it, I would say go for it. As Tattrat correctly put it, a lot depends on the liner. I have been on a number of cruises like the Pearl of Scandanavia (it was formerly used in the Love Boat tv series), Royal Viking etc that cruise around Asian waters and Greek cruises as well. The food is wonderful to say the least. Some of them come with food vouchers so if you are not satisfied with the buffet, you can always top the difference and opt for the fine dining restaurants. The shows are equally good. They even flew in international artistes like Cliff Richard, Johnny Tillotson etc to sing on board. While on such cruises, I do not feel confined as there is always casinos to keep you busy. To get a good deal, it's always wise to travel during off-peak season. I hope one day to take a cruise on the Queen Elizabeth 2.
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Old 01-05-2007, 05:36 AM   #11
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We had a great time and enjoyed fabulous food on our cruise. The problem is staying away from all those inviting foods. I would like to go on a fitness cruise sometime and see how those are.
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Old 01-05-2007, 08:23 AM   #12
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We took a cruise on the Sitmar (now defunct, I think) Lines and the food was out of this world - except for the days we were in a hurricane. We're not much for organized 'fun' either - so we had a group (all met on ship) who did our own thing; stayed on board while most others were gone and just enjoyed the drinks and large pool to ourselves or went on shore when it was something we all wanted to do.

The Midnight Buffet is worth going on a cruise for - the chef's seem to try to outdo themselves every night!!!
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Old 01-05-2007, 09:19 AM   #13
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I am also not a huge fan of cruises. They just don't look appealing with herds of people. I recently went to Egypt and flew from Cairo to Luxor and boarded a Nile Cruise.

I did not know what to expect because this was the very first time I had been on a floating vessel. The cruise we went on was very intimate and only had 50 people, now it was a whole lot more expensive but also extremely personalized.

By the end of the 4 days we had made some good friends. The excursions which are critical when you go to a place like Luxor, Edfu, etc. are also pretty important and the small group sizes of 10-12 guests was also a huge bonus.

Food to me was not bad but not something I would call great either. The variety was good during breakfast and lunch but it was all pretty boring and blah and same old. Dinner was ala carte (sit down) but food again left a lot to be desired.

The service however was impeccable. The chef knew there were a few Indians on the boat and the menu was mostly catered to the Europeans so they would make us chicken curry and chickpeas and other things that some of us were missing. We were told we can walk into the kitchen anytime because they believed you had the right to see how the food was prepared and judge the cleanliness of the kitchen. The chef even fried some falafel's for us and shared several of his recipes.

All in all a smaller cruise although quite a bit more money than the larger ones are very good. There were times I would be on the Sun deck looking and admiring the shimmering waters of the Nile and the rustic countryside and there would be only 2 others on the deck. It was almost like I had the entire deck to myself.
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Old 01-05-2007, 09:36 AM   #14
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My wife and I actually took the Disney Cruise Line for our Honeymoon back in 2004. I can tell you without a doubt, it was the best vacation I have ever took, and I can't wait to go again.

The food, in my opinion, was amazing. I have eaten at several 4 star restaurants between Minneapolis and Chicago, and the food on the Cruise line was extremely close.

We personally never felt herded like cattle. Instead, we felt absolutely spoiled rotten. Any employee would stop what they are doing to tie your shoe for you.

I was really worried about being bored. But, at least on the Disney Cruise, I always have a dozen things to pick from. Even at midnight..

Just my 2 cents.. I can't wait to go again.

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Old 01-05-2007, 09:57 AM   #15
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Ya know, the first thought that came to my mind when I saw "cruise food", was food to take on a road trip. I was thinking crackers, squirt cheese, etc.
My husband says I was raised under a tub, and I think he's right.
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Old 01-05-2007, 01:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mudbug
I have really not much interest in taking a cruise on one of those big ships. (Sailboat cruises are different). Herded on to a giant floating hotel like cattle, herded off at various stops to buy a bunch of tourist junk within steps of the mother ship, no chance of escape while at sea, etc.

But....
there's food, all kinds, all the time, right?

So my question for you cruisers is, is the food any good? That's the only thing that would tempt me to consider it
Re cruises - Three words:

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I have never been on a cruise, but had some friends that went on the QE2 years ago. Wish I could give you more feedback as to what the trip/cruise/food was like.

Cruises are notorious for excellent food & plenty of it. However, very small accomodations is only one of the major factors that would turn me off. I wouldn't go on a cruise just for the food.
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Old 01-05-2007, 02:04 PM   #17
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LMAO mish!

mudbug, I cruised the Caribbean on Celebrity Cruise line and was very impressed with all the food we had. I also was fine with our cabin. If you go, don't cheap out and get the interior cabin, thats DEFINITELY a no no. Spend the extra and get yourself a little balcony deck to sit on. Well worth it IMO.

I actually kept a diary of the food we had. (Yes I know, that sounds odd, but I wanted to remember it because it was so good) If you like I can recite some of the lovely meals I had for you. I don't want to bore anyone though.
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Old 01-05-2007, 02:49 PM   #18
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Hey - I've never been on a cruise & I STILL want to hear about the food Alix. You certainly won't be boring me - lol!!!!
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Old 01-05-2007, 04:53 PM   #19
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Alix, I would love to see it also = I didn't keep a diary, but should have. You were smarter than I was.
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Old 01-26-2007, 06:53 PM   #20
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I've been on three cruises. One with Carnival and two with Royal Caribbean. The food was wonderful! The best food was at dinner time. They do try their best with the buffet's but even they were good at the snack hour of 3-5pm. I wish I had the recipe for their taco meat used for the nachos. I still think about it. My kids said the fries by the pool were the best fries they've ever had and actually, I thought so too (must be some lard used on that ship).
On the more serious side, at dinner I had an onion tart appetizer that was to die for! The scallop risoto was awesome! Every entree' I had was cooked to perfection, nothing was dry or overcooked at all. I'm not a fan of dessert and didn't care for their cheesecake (too eggy/airy texture), but the flourless chocolate cake is worth booking another cruise for in a heartbeat. If you want two dinners or two desserts, etc. you'll get it. My dad had lobster 3 times on his recent cruise just by mentioning to the waiter how good the lobster was.

you can google cruise menus and find some that cruising enthusiasts have posted on their webshots or on their own travel websites. cruisecritic.com is another place to do a search for menus from different ships.

FYI* The cruises I've been on haven't been very crowded. There are several areas with a range of different activites on a ship so the population was very spread out. Your room will be very small unless you get a suite. I'm not in the cabin much and I'm not a "room service" type so it doesn't bother me.

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