Jump to content
karl_nj

"New" MDR Menus

Recommended Posts

Just got back from a wonderful cruise on Anthem.  In general, the cruise exceeded my expectations.  The ship was beautiful, and handled spring-break-sized crowds of mostly fellow NY/NJ residents with ease.  It was great to have the kid-free solarium "pool" area, along with the indoor and outdoor family pool areas.  And the family pools were not filled beyond capacity, unlike Disney Cruise Line (I'm always wary of letting my kids swim on DCL, since it always appears to me that the pools are dangerously over capacity.)

However, not a big fan of the "new" MDR menus.  Way too many "everyday" items for both appetizers, main courses, and desserts.  And the every day items were always boring.  Most of the time the only salad available was a Caesar wedge.  I'm not sure why they don't rotate though some other more interesting salads.  Or, why not do something with more veggies and a vinegrette if you are going to only offer one salad every day.  And the fish of the day had the same issue -- the fish changed every day, but you get it with the same exact sauce. mashed potatoes, and veggies every single day.  They only had a cold fruit soup one day, and it was the strawberry one.  I feel the previous "spice" menus had more variety, and more interesting choices.

It almost feels like they are trying to make the MDR more boring to convince you to go to the specialty restaurants, much like NCL.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Totally agree, used to enjoy the old "spice-themed" menus but the MDR on our recent Oasis cruise was really poor, so we ended up using the specialty restaurants more than normal. Fairly sure that's the intention.

Been loyal RCL customers for years but we are now seriously looking at other lines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info, @karl_nj . I agree with you regarding DCL's pools. My son got clocked in the head because the pool was crowded and kids were goofing around without parental supervision.

One of the things I loved early on with sailing Royal was all of the wonderful salads they would offer each night each with a different house-made dressing. One of my favorites was a Vidalia Onion dressing. Sadly, I haven't seen that in quite awhile and I personally feel that the main dining room variety is slipping. However, it is possible that they're also responding to the changing demographics of cruising and/or passenger demand. Some are simply not adventurous eaters.

On our last cruise, we ate exclusively at specialty dining and really enjoyed our trip, using the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch. On the cruise before that, the MDR was not cutting it nor were the menus, so we dined half of the time in specialty restaurants and ate most dinners in the Windjammer. Fortunately, the Windjammer has greatly improved for dinner over the years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, I have to agree you too @karl_nj.

DCL pools are a nightmare.  Like @DocLC, my kids have been kicked, clocked in the head, pushed down, in those pools.  One of the first things my girls noticed after sailing their first RC ship was how much roomier the pools are.  Still to many kids for my liking but they loved it.

About the MDR, we first noticed a decline on Allure in 2016.  We tried to write it off as a one off experience.  However, since then, after seeing so many MDR menus posted online and many pics posted also, I would have to draw the conclusion that it was not a one time thing.  We have been blessed in that the last few sailings we have dined exclusively in CK.  However, moving forward, hubby and I were discussing how we probably would only book cabins with access to CK or we might even consider specialty dining (which is rare for us).  It does bother me that it comes down to that.  I too, remember the days were I was wowed by each MDR meal.  And this has nothing to do with the MDR menu, but I wish they would bring back the loving cups from the MDR.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to be the person who never dined during a port stop and would return to the ship for lunch, wouldn't spend extra for ice cream or specialty dining, but times have changed for me. In part, it's because I have more disposable income, but I also have to acknowledge that cruising is more affordable than it was when I first started cruising more than 20 years ago. As a result, if I have to spend $100 per person to have an improved dining experience, I'm willing to do so and just consider it the cost of cruising. I just wish Royal would up their game when it comes to complimentary daytime and late night snack options. For example, some lines keep their buffets open until at least 11 p.m., where others have much better pizza options, delis, or even pub-type food available 24/7.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest toodle68

I loved to find out who came up with the Caesar wedge.  We love Caesar salad but this dish is beyond stupid. Our last waitress said most people complaint about it. She actually chopped it up for us which made it decent. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, toodle68 said:

I loved to find out who came up with the Caesar wedge.  We love Caesar salad but this dish is beyond stupid. Our last waitress said most people complaint about it. She actually chopped it up for us which made it decent. 

A prep cook who used to be tasked with chopping up the lettuce for the Caesar salads realized that the tedious effort could be eliminated and suggested the wedge as a "time saver" for the kitchen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can tell in a Mexican restaurant when the hand made salsa was made.  Toward the end of the day, the size of the chopped tomatoes got larger.

I'm thinking the perhaps waste may have been a contributing factor in blandness of the food.  Also the hesitancy of some to try something new.  Having worked in commercial kitchens, the comfort foods usually got completely consumed but a lot of the non-traditional cuisine often had leftovers even though menus were preapproved.  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Jason.H. said:

Isn't a ceasar salad made from romaine lettuce? It doesn't even grow in a shape to make a wedge out of it. Are they using ice berg lettuce instead?

The new menus I've experienced on Serenade and Liberty in February and April did not offer a Caesar Wedge.  They offered a traditional Caesar salad made with romaine.   The wedge I had in Chops was iceberg with blue cheese dressing, much like a wedge in any land restaurant. 

This new menu and Caesar Salad from Serenade this month:

5ad896c9dd7ee_SerenadeDay9DinnerMenu-1.jpg.02f6a26e6a4fe09548de27beff0e57f7.jpg

5ad89699b30a4_SerenadeDay9Sea-4.jpg.605ebf16caa5f9dc5788d8da106b4adf.jpg

Over 10 nights a Caesar Wedge was never offered.  Must be an Anthem thing although Anthem in January did not have a Caesar Wedge but that before new menus hit the fleet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still upset by the fact that there are very few gluten free options for my daughter who has to eat that way. On   I contacted the dining dept, & was told 

1) "possibly a typo" and

2) talk to headwaiter/waiter to see if various items can be modified to be gluten free. 

It appears that many of the ships are using the same menu, as I have seen duplicates from different sailings.  On several of the menus, shrimp cocktail & fruit plate for apps, and ice cream or creme brulee for dessert (all of which are "standards", so are there every day) will be her only options.  One menu only had the roasted chicken as a gluten free main dish!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, MaryCS62 said:

I'm still upset by the fact that there are very few gluten free options for my daughter who has to eat that way. On   I contacted the dining dept, & was told 

1) "possibly a typo" and

2) talk to headwaiter/waiter to see if various items can be modified to be gluten free. 

It appears that many of the ships are using the same menu, as I have seen duplicates from different sailings.  On several of the menus, shrimp cocktail & fruit plate for apps, and ice cream or creme brulee for dessert (all of which are "standards", so are there every day) will be her only options.  One menu only had the roasted chicken as a gluten free main dish!!!

We eat primarily vegetarian AND gluten-free, so Mary my options are pretty much fruit and salad.   We also avoid dairy as much as possible.  At least on the menu posted above,  your daughter has some options.  I'd like to see more vegetable based options; I can't eat pasta for a week. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/9/2018 at 6:10 PM, toodle68 said:

I loved to find out who came up with the Caesar wedge.  We love Caesar salad but this dish is beyond stupid. Our last waitress said most people complaint about it. She actually chopped it up for us which made it decent. 

I looked this week and I do not think I saw the Caesar wedge once! The Caesar salad was repeated a few times but there have been a couple of other salads as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, twangster said:

The new menus I've experienced on Serenade and Liberty in February and April did not offer a Caesar Wedge.  They offered a traditional Caesar salad made with romaine.   The wedge I had in Chops was iceberg with blue cheese dressing, much like a wedge in any land restaurant. 

This new menu and Caesar Salad from Serenade this month:

5ad896c9dd7ee_SerenadeDay9DinnerMenu-1.jpg.02f6a26e6a4fe09548de27beff0e57f7.jpg

5ad89699b30a4_SerenadeDay9Sea-4.jpg.605ebf16caa5f9dc5788d8da106b4adf.jpg

Over 10 nights a Caesar Wedge was never offered.  Must be an Anthem thing although Anthem in January did not have a Caesar Wedge but that before new menus hit the fleet.

This was the same menu on the Antem last night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, KathyC said:

I'd like to see more vegetable based options; I can't eat pasta for a week. 

I couldn't agree more! While in the MDR, we usually speak with the head waiter to arrange vegan meals. Plus, we request more vegetarian/vegan type meals on every survey we receive from RCCL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, PrincipalTinker said:

I looked this week and I do not think I saw the Caesar wedge once! The Caesar salad was repeated a few times but there have been a couple of other salads as well.

Yes, there were one or two other salads available, over the 7 night cruise.  One was pretty interesting, it had a few different colors of carrots in it, which I enjoyed.

They also had a strawberry chilled soup on one day.

My point is that with the older menus, there would be both a Ceasar salad AND a rotating salad every day.  Mojo had the Spinach Salad and the Ceasar Salad.  Saffron had the Roman Vignole and a Ceasar, Shittake had a Garden Salad and the Caesar.  I don't go on a cruise to eat a Ceasar salad every day, it was nice to have some variety.  It was the same thing with the chilled soups.  Mojo had the Watermelon and Raspberry Soup, Saffron had the Banana and Rum soup, Shiitake had a Mango and Pineapple soup.  Now if you wait until lobster night, you can basically get a free virgin strawberry daiquiri  as your soup.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/20/2018 at 5:51 AM, CruiseLife72 said:

I couldn't agree more! While in the MDR, we usually speak with the head waiter to arrange vegan meals. Plus, we request more vegetarian/vegan type meals on every survey we receive from RCCL.

When I book my cruises, I always have my TA call RC to request the vegetarian menu for me in the MDR. The first night, I don't get the option to order from it. However, at the end of the meal, they bring me the menu, along with the regular for the next evening so I can decide what I would like to order. I place my order each night this way. Some times I choose from the Vegetarian menu and sometimes from the regular menu. Next time you book, you should have your TA, or yourself, call RC to have the vegetarian/vegan menu set up for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/20/2018 at 6:58 PM, karl_nj said:

Yes, there were one or two other salads available, over the 7 night cruise.  One was pretty interesting, it had a few different colors of carrots in it, which I enjoyed.

They also had a strawberry chilled soup on one day.

My point is that with the older menus, there would be both a Ceasar salad AND a rotating salad every day.  Mojo had the Spinach Salad and the Ceasar Salad.  Saffron had the Roman Vignole and a Ceasar, Shittake had a Garden Salad and the Caesar.  I don't go on a cruise to eat a Ceasar salad every day, it was nice to have some variety.  It was the same thing with the chilled soups.  Mojo had the Watermelon and Raspberry Soup, Saffron had the Banana and Rum soup, Shiitake had a Mango and Pineapple soup.  Now if you wait until lobster night, you can basically get a free virgin strawberry daiquiri  as your soup.

 

 

The chilled soups were quite different and refreshing.  I remember the one I had on Oasis (a long time ago) quite well.  It was watermelon gazpacho!  I found a picture of it for you 😋

DSCF1021.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, USCG Teacher said:

I'll never forget, I had a chilled banana soup at lunch in the MDR on Enchantment about a million years ago.  It was delicious, but pre-digital camera days, so sadly no photo.  😞 

LOL, I don't feel so bad now about remembering food items from almost a decade ago!  When you love food, you do remember!  That chilled banana soup must have been quite unique!

Ah yes, about the cameras, still remember those rolls of film!  I had a tiny digital camera with me on Oasis, but the viewfinder was so tiny.  It's not like nowadays 😂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was a photo minor in college in the 90s, and worked as a 1-hour photo lab manager to help pay for school.  Would routinely cruise with 15-20 rolls of film.  Still remember traveling with my lead-lined film bags, and not having airport security do anything more than give them a precursory glance.  Pre-9/11 travel sure was a different world!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, USCG Teacher said:

Was a photo minor in college in the 90s, and worked as a 1-hour photo lab manager to help pay for school.  Would routinely cruise with 15-20 rolls of film.  Still remember traveling with my lead-lined film bags, and not having airport security do anything more than give them a precursory glance.  Pre-9/11 travel sure was a different world!

What a nice story, thanks for sharing!  I remember those lead-lined bags too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...