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Which mass market Cruise Line has the best food overall?

Discussion in 'Know Before You Go' started by John, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. John

    John I'm on Island Time Staff Member

    Which mass market Cruise Line has the best food overall?


    I actually had aged Filet Mignon in the main dining room aboard the Carnival Miracle during a cruise. We also find Carnival has more options, buffets at midnight still, grills poolside and more. This may suprise some.
     
  2. maw

    maw Wordsmith

    I really enjoy the Princess menus. Haven't cruised Carnival for a while. I really like RCI the least(at least easier to stay on diet.)
     
  3. gram

    gram Well-Known Member

    :sunny::sunny::sunny:


    Have been on Princess, RCCL, Holland America & CArnival. With doing six Carnival cruises I have enjoyed their food better than the other cruise lines. The one Holland cruise we took, I do have to say the food was excellent. As far as RCCL & Princess they have gone down hill on food.
     
  4. nieciez

    nieciez Well-Known Member Community Sponsor

    We've cruises Princess, RCL, Celebrity, Carnival and Premier and for us the best food overall is Carnival, hands down with Princess coming in second.
     
  5. Cruizer

    Cruizer Well-Known Member

    If you are referring to free food, then it is Carnival. If you are referring to the optional extra cost venues, then it is NCL.
     
  6. Mbandy

    Mbandy Well-Known Member



    Carnival is good. So are Royal Caribbean and Celebrity.

    In my experience NCL is the lowest in quality in the main dining room.

    The good news is that Carnival still serves lobster and Crème Briolette without having to go to the specialty restaurant like you have to on NCL. On my recent Carnival cruise I just wanted a steak for dinner. The Flat Iron steak is served with a sauce on it and, while very good, I just didn’t want sauce that night. I asked our waiter if he could just find me a nice steak, potato and veggies. He said no! “We don’t really have any nice steaks, they are pretty smallâ€, he said. So he brought me two. Either one of them would have been plenty. I told the waiter as we were leaving the dining room that one of those steaks was twice as big as the ones I was served on NCL.

    It seems that NCL's dining options are simple. Eat free in the main dining room but if you want the good stuff you have to pay.

    As far as extra cost dining rooms? Chops Grill on Royal Caribbean.
     
  7. George C

    George C Well-Known Member

    The two we enjoy the most is Princess and Costa, love the Itilian food and pasta course on Costa. Rccl and Celeberity are ok.
     
  8. Corky

    Corky Well-Known Member

    As far as which Cruise Line has the best food...I think it is more like Which Ship of which Cruise Line has the best food...because I personally feel it all depends on the Chef and his/her staff. Not all Chef's are created equal. But that is JMHO. :cheer:
     
  9. John

    John I'm on Island Time Staff Member

    Yes, I'm talking the free options as the speciality restraunts are very unique and ofcourse go out of their way.
     
  10. John

    John I'm on Island Time Staff Member

    I think most people are surpised how much free food options Carnival has as well as the quality. Its one thing that makes it such a great value. Where some others have cut back, Carnival keeps adding.
     
  11. Gayle V

    Gayle V Cruiser's Compass Editor

    Have to agree that Carnival's food is very good; better than Royal Caribbean. But as for which is best, I have to pick Celebrity. (unfortunately, it's been five years since we've cruised on Celebrity so that may, or may not be true anymore. If I were to list them in order of "favorite to least favorite" , in my experience, this would be it:

    Celebrity, Carnival, HAL-tied-with-Princess, RCI
     
  12. Mbandy

    Mbandy Well-Known Member

    Very true John.

    We really enjoy the deli on Carnival. The Rubens are awesome! On the Victory they had the Mississippi Bar B-Q which was great too. Pizza, sushi. There are many choices.
     
  13. Whimsy

    Whimsy Well-Known Member

    We have only cruised Carnival and Princess. Jules and I both agree that Princes was more to our liking but we still ate very well on Carnival.
     
  14. duskbat

    duskbat Well-Known Member

    overall best food is Carnival. outta 17 cruises. I went on Fantasy in march 2010 and food was amazing! in contrast worst food was a carnival Victory a few years ago. but from my last 4 or 5 carnival cruises food was top notch.
    I just returned from NCL EPIC and the food was awfull. it was like sysco truck food all the way. I couldnt wait to go to st thomas and have a feast at Cafe Amici! I never had good eats on NCL. NCL EPIC has the best onion rings i have ever had tho!
     
  15. Beryl

    Beryl Trivia Specialist

    This question is so subjective that it is .. well I was going to say ludicrous...but perhaps comical would be kinder :biggrin:! At best any of the main line cruises serve banquet style food in their main dining rooms. For those that prefer one line over another it is more likely that they are preferring the style and quantity of the food on the menu rather than the food itself. I have had good food, pretty good food and horrible food on each and every line and ship I have sailed. It must also be said that if you don't like what you are served there are always other choices so there is no reason to go hungry either...still, I don't cruise so that I can have an extraordinary meal in the ship's standard dining rooms.
     
  16. Calgon1

    Calgon1 Awaiting results of mental evaluation

    It's really a toss-up ... :shrug:

    Main Dining Rooms - Celebrity
    Buffets - Costa
    Room Service - Holland America
    Speciality Restaurants - NCL (based on variety)
     
  17. Krazy Kruizers

    Krazy Kruizers Holland America Specialist

    Food is subjective. We left Princess because we thought - JMO -- that the food was not very good.

    Our last cruise on HAL -- the dinner food was not good. We ended up eating in the speciality restaurant a lot.

    As for room service -- had 2 bad incidents with that on HAL -- have never ordered room service since then.
     
  18. BruinSteve

    BruinSteve Well-Known Member

    First of all, the question of "How good is the FOOD?" IS extremely subjective...Everyone has different taste...

    The other problem here is how many of you have been on how many different lines and how often? So, how do most of you qualify to make the comparison?

    ALL cruise lines will give you at least good food, attractively presented and a variety of styles and recipes, multiple appetizers and desserts, etc....So, it would be easy for almost anyone to like the food on any cruise line they go on a lot...

    So, are there any objective standards with which to compare? About the only one I have ever found was an article I read a few years back that actually gave the numbers for how much each cruise line spent on food per passenger per day. If nothing else, it may have some bearing on the quality of the ingredients the lines used--a cruise line buying cheaper cuts of meat, for example, could save considerably on food cost. All "filet mignon" is NOT the same...

    Not surprisingly to me, Carnival ranked far at the bottom in terms of what they spend on food. Celebrity, Cunard, HAL at the top...

    I hate to break it to all of you Carnival fans, but, Carnival thrives on cutting corners...they offer low prices and still make a tidy profit. How do you think they do it?

    Now, I HAVE cruised on seven different cruise lines...and most of them multiple times...

    About the ONLY thing I can really say for Carnival is that, from my first Carnival Cruise back in the mid 90s to my most recent one in 2007, they did considerably upgrade their food...but certainly NOT to the top of the industry or anywhere near it...They went from high school Cafeteria to Applebee's/Stuart Andersen's...Decent enough, but nowhere near gourmet...

    In my humble opinion, the BEST food I have had on a cruise ship has been on Oceania, followed closely by Celebrity...others go down from there...

    To be fair, I have never cruised on HAL or Cunard or Costa (though reports from my sister on Costa don't hold out much hope there)...

    I will also say that any improvements in Carnival's cuisine are easily counterbalanced by their attrocioulsy poor service and crowded dining rooms...and a good part of the dining experience is in the service and the ambiance...
     
  19. Keith & Rita

    Keith & Rita Well-Known Member

    Based upon the most recent cruise we've taken on the following cruise lines, this is how we would rate them:
    1) Celebrity - New Year 2008
    2) Carnival - Our most recent, New Year 2010
    3) HAL - New Year 2005
    4) Princess - New Year 2009
    5) NCL - New Year 2006
    6) RCI - Oct 2002

    We feel every since the advent of the speciality restaurants the quality of the food in the dining rooms have slipped a little--especially the steaks. We noticed that on our last HAL and Princess cruises. Carnival has improved the most from our first cruise on the Sensation in 1997.
     
  20. Jeanie

    Jeanie Well-Known Member


    My opinion exactly.. Rick & I talk about this ofen especailly over martini's:cheer:
     

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