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Old 09-04-2012, 03:23 PM   #1
Clotho
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Food Disappointment BIG Time...

Just got off the Wonder yesterday, and had a great time. Staff was amazing, the ship was gorgeous, and we are already looking forward to a future cruise. But with who...? Because we love good food and frankly, we didn't have much--hubby loved his lamb dish at Palo, and we both enjoyed brunch there, mostly eating the buffet items, but that's it.

I swear I am not as picky as this sounds, but I didn't have one single meal that I fully enjoyed on the ship. Bland, overcooked, lukewarm, over-salted, tasted like frozen food or school lunches. Even Palo overcooked my shrimp and steak (and the waiter failed to bring an entire course we had ordered, which only contributed to my disappointment).

Is this normal? What was your experience? I would love some perspective, because this is actually one of the sticking points in deciding if we want to cruise with Disney again or try another line. We love our Disney vacations for the decor, theming, and service; and we have read about people actually liking the food on Disney, so I had to wonder if somehow we got a bad kitchen experience on this cruise? Or if our idea of good food is vastly different from the reviewers we have read. For instance Red Lobster is NOT "good food" in our book, but we would eat there and find a thing or two that would satisfy. If our cruise on the Wonder were a restaurant, we would never go back.

So question for y'all who have cruised Disney before: tell me of your food experiences, good and bad. And for reference, what kinds of foods do you enjoy eating at home? For instance, if you regularly eat at McDonald's and Long John Silvers, and if you use that as a basis for comparison for "good food" then I have an idea of your personal 1-to-10 scale, know what I mean? It is not my intention to judge anyone's food choices and I hope that this thread will stay on topic without any personal barbs. I just want to gauge why I read so many good reviews of Disney food when my one experience was SO BAD--is this an isolated incident, or is it a case of taste/preference/perspective?
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:31 PM   #2
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My experience is that the food quality on DCL has decreased markedly over the years. Some of our favorite menu items have been eliminated, and we were not thrilled with the quality on our last few cruises. As you said--great service, super entertainment, but food quality was not the best. In fact, we cruised a different line in August and found MUCH better food.

OK, there are exceptions....if you eat dinner in the pool deck restaurant, you lose the "experience" of the main dining room, but we found the food to be better--even though it is the same stuff as on the main menu.

I don't think the issue is in the menu selections on DCL so much as I think it is the preparation/serving system that is decreasing the quality....but that's just me. I'm basing that on having the same item 2 nights in a row--once in a MDR, once at Topsiders. The food at Topsiders was MUCH better.

We have 2013 booked on 2 different lines. It looks like we will be on DCL, but the family agrees that the food is better on the other. THey just feel that the entertainment on DCL outweighs the food quality.
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:39 PM   #3
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Everything tastes like gravy in our opinion. Terribly bland, but to be honest, we feel the same way about the food on two other cruise lines.

I know this will shock, but we do not cruise for the food. We tend to choose the less prepared foods because they taste the best.
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcashner
I don't think the issue is in the menu selections on DCL so much as I think it is the preparation/serving system that is decreasing the quality....but that's just me. I'm basing that on having the same item 2 nights in a row--once in a MDR, once at Topsiders. The food at Topsiders was MUCH better.
Having served in the Navy at various sized commands, I can tell you this can indeed be the case. All Galleys in the Navy use the exact same recipe cards, yet ingredient sources and quantity being prepared can have have a huge influence on how a particular dish tastes.

Another factor can be when you eat. If you're eating at the busiest times, you can virtually assure that your meal will suffer from some form of inattention.

Unfortunately, I can't help the OP with the specific question, as I've never been on any cruise before. However, nearly 7 years in the Navy taught me how to get the best food possible out of just about any mediocre restaurant. In a realm of Applebee's and Chilies, it's a skill that has served me well.
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clotho View Post
Just got off the Wonder yesterday, and had a great time. Staff was amazing, the ship was gorgeous, and we are already looking forward to a future cruise. But with who...? Because we love good food and frankly, we didn't have much--hubby loved his lamb dish at Palo, and we both enjoyed brunch there, mostly eating the buffet items, but that's it.

I swear I am not as picky as this sounds, but I didn't have one single meal that I fully enjoyed on the ship. Bland, overcooked, lukewarm, over-salted, tasted like frozen food or school lunches. Even Palo overcooked my shrimp and steak (and the waiter failed to bring an entire course we had ordered, which only contributed to my disappointment).

Is this normal? What was your experience? I would love some perspective, because this is actually one of the sticking points in deciding if we want to cruise with Disney again or try another line. We love our Disney vacations for the decor, theming, and service; and we have read about people actually liking the food on Disney, so I had to wonder if somehow we got a bad kitchen experience on this cruise? Or if our idea of good food is vastly different from the reviewers we have read. For instance Red Lobster is NOT "good food" in our book, but we would eat there and find a thing or two that would satisfy. If our cruise on the Wonder were a restaurant, we would never go back.

So question for y'all who have cruised Disney before: tell me of your food experiences, good and bad. And for reference, what kinds of foods do you enjoy eating at home? For instance, if you regularly eat at McDonald's and Long John Silvers, and if you use that as a basis for comparison for "good food" then I have an idea of your personal 1-to-10 scale, know what I mean? It is not my intention to judge anyone's food choices and I hope that this thread will stay on topic without any personal barbs. I just want to gauge why I read so many good reviews of Disney food when my one experience was SO BAD--is this an isolated incident, or is it a case of taste/preference/perspective?
Yes, sorry I have to ditto that comment. If it wasn't bland, it was over salted. They over cook every single meat product. Vegetables that were cooked didn't have any life left in them. The soups were bland, the sauces too salty, meat overcooked, yada yada. I am also not a sweets person but I hear the deserts make up for the other items being off. But I don't go on the cruise for the food. I go for the get away time. I never eat out in my home town either because the food is not worth the cost. It only takes 15 minutes to make an amazing meal for 6 people.
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:56 PM   #6
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My husband is a chef so he is picky about his food. On the Magic in June we were highly disapointed with the food. His steak was too fatty and over cooked and had no flavor. The dish I got was nothing to write home about and I cant even think of what it was at this point. We had Palo dinner the next night which was.much better but I thought the lobster ravaloi was bad compared to previous trips.

On the Dream last year I did like the food as O found something each night which was good. Except pirate night which I have never cares for that menu. The server one night brought DH a well done steak and then argued with him that it was medium rare.

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Old 09-04-2012, 04:06 PM   #7
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Have been on the Magic twice and there has been nothing wrong with the food. We both agreed we have had better at our favorite restaurants but considering how many people they serve, we have had much worse at mass catered events such as weddings at hotels. Whilst we don't cruise for the food I think we were both pleasantly surprised at how we enjoyed our meals. As we enjoy eating with DS (5) we haven't tried Palo.

For gauging expectations, we never eat at macDonalds or any other fast food outlets, we like fresh food and whilst we most often eat in pubs, we like to dine in smart restaurants when we get the chance.
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:08 PM   #8
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Some Disney fanatics think that criticizing anything Disney is blasphemy, but it is what it is. I thought the food on the Wonder a year ago January was much better than it was four months ago. We had main dining last year and late seating this year, so perhaps that had something to do with it.

I heard a rumor that the Fantasy "pirated" away the head chef from the Wonder. Anybuddy know if that's true?

The last evening of our May cruise the chefs came out to take their customary bow. I was surprised when they introduced the head chef -- he was the guy who cremated my steak at the deck party. When the coals start flaming several inches high, it's time to move the meat. hullo!

I have had worse food on another line (NCL Hawaii) but have had much better food on Celebrity.
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:15 PM   #9
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If you don't mind me asking which cruise ship did you cruise on in August where you found the food to be MUCH better?
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:16 PM   #10
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We are going again next week on the Dream and will have late dining. I'll take pics and post a review then. But honestly, how much can you expect when you pack that many people into a dining service? I take it all with a grain of salt, literally :-) I just try to eat the non-processed, cooked foods. Don't get my started on Cookies on Cast Away Cay. How can they possibly call that bar-b-que? I am from the midwest and we take bar-b-que quite seriously.
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:25 PM   #11
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The food was, in our opinion, overwhelmingly ok. I only remember two dishes I flat out did not like. I remember one app that was amazing! There were maybe two other dishes I really enjoyed. Palo was over hyped to me. I was expecting something more "fine dining". I will try it again though.

At home we don't eat at too many chain restaurants, but we think DCL is better than say Applebees, a place I will never set foot in again.
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:37 PM   #12
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I consider myself a foodie- I love trying all sorts of different foods, plan my trips around meals, and spend way more than any person should on fine dining. I rarely eat fastfood.

That being said, I enjoyed the food on my Fantasy cruise. There was some missteps, for sure, but I liked more of the items than I disliked. I can only think of a couple things that downright tasted bad. I loved the food at Palo, loved the brunch at Remy, really liked my Remy dinner, and found many items at Royal Court that were very good. I even found some good items on the pool deck (paninis and fruit) and Cabanas. I did find myself disappointed in the Captain's Gala menu (they sure ruined the Lobster!) but overall I was pleased. I even found a couple items that I am excited to get again when I sail on the Dream (Strawberry Rhubarb dessert at Royal Court lunch, cornbeef hash at cabanas, cheese at Remy, Chocolate Souffle at Palo.) There was nothing life altering and I certainly wouldn't choose Disney Cruiseline if dining was my number one priority (I'd go with Celebrity or Crystal- if I were independantly wealthy ) but the food was good enough that I wouldn't pass up Disney in the future. Maybe you could try the Fantasy next time?
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:42 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by texasgirl73 View Post
I consider myself a foodie- I love trying all sorts of different foods, plan my trips around meals, and spend way more than any person should on fine dining. I rarely eat fastfood.

That being said, I enjoyed the food on my Fantasy cruise. There was some missteps, for sure, but I liked more of the items than I disliked. I can only think of a couple things that downright tasted bad. I loved the food at Palo, loved the brunch at Remy, really liked my Remy dinner, and found many items at Royal Court that were very good. I even found some good items on the pool deck (paninis and fruit) and Cabanas. I did find myself disappointed in the Captain's Gala menu (they sure ruined the Lobster!) but overall I was pleased. I even found a couple items that I am excited to get again when I sail on the Dream (Strawberry Rhubarb dessert at Royal Court lunch, cornbeef hash at cabanas, cheese at Remy, Chocolate Souffle at Palo.) There was nothing life altering and I certainly wouldn't choose Disney Cruiseline if dining was my number one priority (I'd go with Celebrity or Crystal- if I were independantly wealthy ) but the food was good enough that I wouldn't pass up Disney in the future. Maybe you could try the Fantasy next time?
The Captain's Gala menu is our least favorite. DH, who is an avid lobster lover, doesn't care for the lobster. I will point out the lobster is not Maine lobster, it's rock lobster, and it's not steamed, it's baked.

We've just taken to ordering the lighter fare stuff on Captain's Gala night.

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Old 09-04-2012, 04:42 PM   #14
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I'm a Club 33 type eating-person. I will go to McDonald's for their Iced Tea (plain not sweet) if that helps gauge where my food tastes live. Red Lobster is yucky.


We liked the food on the Wonder last year just fine. I don't eat fish at all, so if that is what you had, I can't comment.
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Old 09-04-2012, 04:43 PM   #15
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I am not a big fan of most of the dining room menus. I always find something to eat, but can't say that the dining room is a highlight of any cruise for me. I enjoy Palo, but pretty much eat the same items every voyage. I do like the buffet lunch on the new ships. It is a vast improvement over what is offered on the Magic and Wonder.
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