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Dining on big ships vs. small


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I'm interested to see if anyone had noticed a difference between bigger and smaller ships in the fleet when it comes to food quality in the Windjammer and/or the main dining room.

When I was on Anthem earlier this year I felt like the food was not what I've come to expect in the dining room. Mainly American Icon and Chic. I'm hoping that there's been some improvement now that they've done away with Dynamic Dining.

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It's been hit or miss for me. A few months ago, the main dining room food was abysmal, but the Windjammer was out of this world. On other cruise, it's been the other way around. We've opted you buy the 5 night dining package just took ensure better dining options and quality.

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Steady decline across all ships over the years has been the pattern as far as we can tell.

 

Adventure of the Seas was the first time we felt it reached "unacceptable" level from a food quality standpoint though.

I've found it to be more hit and miss than a steady decline personally. On the Brilliance last year out of England, the main dining room food was phenomenal. On the Serenade this year out of Sweden, there were fewer selections on the menu and on all but one night I had difficulty finding anything that looked good; the quality was also lacking. Fortunately, the Windjammer was the saving grace, but it's also the first time we didn't do much time away from the main dining room and doesn't half our nights doing specialty dining.

 

We actual almost cancelled our upcoming cruise on the Allure because of this, but instead opted for a dining package. We also have the added complication of a dietary restriction that was not handled well. Whilst it's a common one, Royal's Special Needs Department had the gall the suggest that we bring our own prepackaged food onboard.

 

We currently have a wait and see attitude. We have the Vision booked out of Amsterdam next summer, but did a backup booking in the Silhouette just in case this cruise doesn't increase our confidence in the product.

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We currently have a wait and see attitude. We have the Vision booked out of Amsterdam next summer, but did a backup booking in the Silhouette just in case this cruise doesn't increase our confidence in the product.

 

Our cruise on Vision last April was the best one, food-wise, that we've had in a very long time.  

 

I was on the same cruise on Adventure as jticarruthers, and while I won't go as far as saying it was unacceptable, the regular menu food definitely wasn't up to snuff (who the heck serves much less orders Chicken Kiev anymore???).  On the first day my wife and I asked for the curries that the staff eats, and they were fantastic, so that made up for the MDR menu for us.  They really should add them back to the menu as an option.

 

I can't comment on the Windjammer as I only ate breakfasts there, and lunch on boarding day.  You can only do so much with bacon and cereal and fruit.

 

My son, who usually orders steak every night, stopped after a couple of days of being served gristle.  The kid eats boogers and worms, so that should tell you something.

 

EDIT: We did do the galley tour/lunch and had the steak, and that one was good. I had forgotten about that.

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We were on the Allure for two weeks btb this past February. First week we had 6:00 seating in the MDR. The food was very good in every respect. The second week we got stuck with My Time Dining. We were shuffled around every night between dining rooms, many dishes were luke warm and had to be sent back. Breakfast and lunch was done at the various dining venues on board to include the Windjammer. I like the Windjammer for the variety of different (nationality)  foods served.

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So I m not alone on the food topic. Our first cruise was two weeks ago on Vision out of Venice. The Windjammer occasionally had some great options, but hit or miss otherwise---canned fruit on the salad bar is astonishing in this day and age. The MDR was like eating at a wedding from the 1980s---heavy and well presented but tasteless. I ordered "filet from Chops" twice in MDR and it was a gristle each time---I thought that I was just being picky about a steak as we live in Texas but it was just poor quality meat. Izumi was great for someone who has never stepped foot in a Sushi restaurant in their life-- who has ever seen a green pepper used in vegetable tempura?  Is the food on Celebrity better? I realize the RCI is filling it's rooms with people who want a value vacation and then they add on a la carte things people want but when I added together our airfare (to Europe) and our spending on board (about $ 500 in booze and then another 900 in all the other crap) and add it to the cost of our room Silverseas, Regent, and Oceania aren't any more expensive-...And those bartenders are so overworked because they oversell those drink packages and people literally stand by the bar to drink as many drinks and get their money's worth---I never was offered anything interesting nor did any of them suggest anything fun at all--they all looked tired of dealing with drunks---so sort of a let down. The best bartender was in the concierge lounge he was so friendly and nice and worked hard for us everyday. 

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The best bartender was in the concierge lounge he was so friendly and nice and worked hard for us everyday. 

 

The most creative bartender in the whole entire fleet is in the R-Bar/Champaign Bar on Adventure - Virginia Gutierrez.  I was part of a "rum enthusiasts" group on this sailing, and once she found out about that she went all out creating some fantastic cocktails for us, some which took several minutes to put together.  They were AMAZING.  She made one called the "Saccharum" that I will never forget (photo with two Zombies and her below).  She even makes her own bitters for her drinks - what other RC bartender does that?!?!

 

Funny thing is, when I saw her on Adventure, she looked familiar but I couldn't quite place her and didn't recognize the last name and home country.  That night I realized I had actually met her on Vision in 2012.

 

vg_adv.jpg

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The most creative bartender in the whole entire fleet is in the R-Bar/Champaign Bar on Adventure - Virginia Gutierrez.  I was part of a "rum enthusiasts" group on this sailing, and once she found out about that she went all out creating some fantastic cocktails for us, some which took several minutes to put together.  They were AMAZING.  She made one called the "Saccharum" that I will never forget (photo with two Zombies and her below).  She even makes her own bitters for her drinks - what other RC bartender does that?!?!

 

Funny thing is, when I saw her on Adventure, she looked familiar but I couldn't quite place her and didn't recognize the last name and home country.  That night I realized I had actually met her on Vision in 2012 - before she married and moved to a different country so the last name and country on her name tag were different and that threw me.

 

vg_adv.jpg

 

That wasn't nice to call those other two bartenders names....

 

 

:P

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