scduo, I'd be interested in your feedback on the food from your upcoming Mariner voyage. Most of the Mariner feedback thus far has been largely positive -- allowing, of course, for the simple fact that it's cruise food after all. We're not dining at Lutece.
Also, it'd be interesting to find out how RCI cuisine compares with that of the Titanic. ;-)
After being an NCL fan for many years my expectations on going on what was my first RCI cruise(BOS) were dashed.. Except for our regular seating in the evening service in the dining room was absolutely indifferent..many complaints by passengers at breakfast and lunch. Rather than subject ourselves to this we ate at the Windjammer...where finding an empty table was a problem..lol,but atleast the food was an improvement and freshly made.. Perhaps, it depends on what your expectations and previous experiences cruising annd general dining experiences are. If it wasn't on general principles I would have eat at the "alternative" restaurants most nights. I would keep an open mind and cruise Celebrity one day. Yes, I donot expect "gourmet" dining at each meal, but I do expect some sort of service at "open seating".. As the ships become larger and larger (much to my dismay, by the way) it is impossible to maintain a high quality and creativity pleasing everybody..Our experience has left me with a bad taste for RCI and I can hardly wait to go back to NCL (6/13/04) and not so much high end dining, but the service, friendliness and embarking and disembarking procedures are greatly appreciated..
we just returned one week ago from cruising for the first time on RCL on the AOS. The other times were with Carnival and one with NCL. We felt the food in the dining room was good, but the food in the buffet line was the same old stuff everyday. One a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate it a 7.
Just came back last week -- Explorer.
The food for the main dinner we expected to be of better quality.
We ate at Portifino's once & found that to be the quailtiy of food we hoped would have been served for the main dinner.
So it appears that this will be the way they go charging more to eat at diff resturant to get the type of food they used to serve at the other.
We would have gone back to Portifino's again even though we had to pay but were traveling with daughter and hubby and wanted to be seated with them.
They did not have the same issues we did with dinning but they also have not had the chance to travel land or sea as we have been able to so there expectations were lower.
I had always heard the dinners were one of the major parts of taking a cruise and expected better then we were served.
We will return to our land vacations and choose the resturants we want to eat at that we know are good .
I am sure RCL won't go out of business because we decide not to cruise but if enough people complain and not choose there line they might start to feel the crunch.
From reading the message boards, I have concluded that even the staunchest RCI fans will concede that the food may not be quite as well prepared as it once was. (I've cruised only once, so I can't make that judgment from my experience.) And yes, perhaps with the massive size of today's megaships, enjoying personalized service may now be more the exception than the rule. (On Rhapsody, no one ever addressed us by name, although I read many reviews by passengers who report that level of attention. That wasn't a big deal to us; I think we'd have been shocked if anyone did call us by name.)
Obviously, cruising isn't for everyone. After all, you either have to eat what's available on board, or go hungry -- something very few of us are willing to do. Still, many vacationers enjoy the combination that only cruises seem to provide: relaxing days at sea, plentiful (if sometimes not particularly memorable) food, fun ports of call, amusing entertainments, and the chance to relax in a pretty indulgent way.
My take-away from these discussions, then, is the following: If you like the cruise vibe but demand only the finest in dining, pony up a lot more money and book yourself on a Crystal or Seabourne cruise. If you don't like the cruise vibe at all, then stick to the other third of the planet -- the part not covered by water. It needn't be an all-or-nothing proposition....I just returned today from a land-based vacation, and I can't wait for our next cruise. We're sailing Mariner in May, no matter if RCI is charging $4 at Johnny Rockets or not. ;-)
Hi, We are sailing July 25th on the Mariner of the Seas. This will be our 7th RCCL cruise. When my husband and I went on our first cruise to Bermuda on the Nordic Prince 17 years ago the food was so good that i put on 7 lbs in a week. They had tableside preparation as well. I do believe the quality of the food has declined but we love these large ships and the atmosphere on RCCL ships so that is why we are going again. Last year we went on Carnival for the first time with friends who live in New Orleans. I thought the food was great. I was soooo surprised! I thought to myself if they could combine Carnival's food and RCCL's ships it would be a great combination. My husband and I have eaten at 3 of Emeril's restaurants and agree how wonderful it is. We will probably eat at the two specialty restaurants on the Mariner on the nights that we don't like the dining room menu.