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Old 01-27-2013, 12:26 PM   #16
Yokelridesagain
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DCL isn't in the same galaxy as the country's best restaurants. I do agree that it would be silly to expect it to be.

However, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect it to be better than Applebee's, which I would agree is a pretty good estimation of the actual quality on DCL (although the type of dishes are quite different).

Personally, that isn't the type of place I would choose to eat. To each his own!
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:30 PM   #17
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I'm a foodie who plans trips around my meals. I sailed on the Fantasy last August and found many things that I liked and several that were just okay. Palo and Remy were good (items ranging from good to excellent, nothing subpar, I've been to better restaurants on land but I am returning to both on my May cruise.) I found the dining rooms to be good enough. Some items were just okay (dull and uninspiring) but I did have a few things that were quite good and memorable. There were even some stand out items at the pool deck fast food area and the buffet. So take this as an opportunity to seek out and find the stand-outs. You can always send back anything that you don't like.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:00 PM   #18
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My advice would be to enter with an open mind.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:01 PM   #19
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It would be cool if you would post a follow-up in this thread after your cruise.
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Old 01-27-2013, 02:10 PM   #20
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I have yet to cruise on DCL and I am going with open mind. I fully agree with it being subjective and really some ppl say they are foodies and are and some claim it and just like to eat. I would say I am a foodie in some ways but some might be more so. I like good home cooked food(as I am currently making fresh pasta, ravioli and cheese homemade today) but I dont think DCL will be the same- same as WDW, its not home cooked with love but you can get some good and some really bad food. I just go by taste rather then reviews bc the places everyone raves about are not always worth returning to. Besides, I am sailing, either way, I gotta eat.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:19 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Yokelridesagain View Post
I would describe DCL's food as "tiresome". It isn't for the most part inedible; i.e., if I went to a restaurant and got their food I usually wouldn't send it back. I just wouldn't go there again. I agree with a lot of the commentary already posted (powdered eggs, bad steak, grocery store quality pastries, etc.).

These would be my major complaints:

1) Flavor profiles of dishes in the MDR are extremely bland. The food sounds (and to their credit, looks) a lot 'fancier' than it actually is. From the perspective a self-described food snob, there just isn't anything interesting about it.

2) The product, particularly proteins, tend to be sub-par. As stated, beef is certainly not of prime or even choice quality. A lot of the seafood--particularly shellfish--has an off flavor. Obviously you're going to be eating meat/seafood that has been frozen.

3) Given the assembly line nature of the MDRs, not surprisingly there are missteps related to food preparation/temperature. Meats tend to come out on the overcooked side; if you decide to order steak (which I wouldn't advise) and want it anything south of medium well, order it rare. Temperature is usually not ideal either.

I don't agree that the waitstaff can make it right, and I also haven't been impressed with the results of following their recommendations. In general, the food is just not good and I don't think there's anything to fix that can be fixed short of a cruise line wide overhaul of food service.

I agree that the buffets are easier to cope with...there's a lot of junk but usually there are one or two things that are pleasant enough to eat, and you don't have to sit through a 90 minute production to eat. Unfortunately, there's no buffet service at dinner.

I thought Remy was worth about what I paid for it. It was far better than the MDR food, but I wouldn't put it at (or near) the category of "best dining experience of my life".
I would say that this review is spot on. Food is edible, but not going to blow you away. It's presented beautifully but doesn't taste as good as it looks. It's very bland, even when something sounds like it will be tasty. I'm not even a food snob and regularly visit chain restaurants, but I was not impressed with the food. It's not enough to keep me from returning, however!
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:45 PM   #22
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I'm sailing on the Disney Dream in April and my entire family is going--and we're all somewhat foodies!

I've read so many different posts about how the food is "just okay" on the Disney Cruise Line. This is our first experience--and just looking at the pictures--it looks so good!! (which I actually read as well--"looks better than it tastes").

What is your opinion of the food?
First and foremost, foodie = Remy. World class dining at a bargain price.

As for the MDRs, I kind of feel they fall into you get exactly what you expect. It is more than food, it is an experience (setting, decor, very attentive waitstaff, sharing the experience with many others who generally dress/act up to the class of the evening). Unfortunately, there are too many people who call themselves "picky" and their requirements dictate reasonably ordinary foods. The presentation is well above your local restaurant, though.

We expect to have a great time, and we always do! If the food is not at hot, spicy, or prepared perfectly, that doesn't upset us. We love the menus, the dishes really are something unusual, and there are plenty of choices.

If you expect to have a great experience, you will! If you want food, go to Cabanas. If you want a wonderful, Disney dining experience, go to the MDRs! And the food itself is really pretty good.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:06 AM   #23
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It would be cool if you would post a follow-up in this thread after your cruise.
Thanks everybody! It's good to hear your take on it. I definitely wouldn't call us "food snobs", so being open minded is not hard for us! We just like LOTS of different food experiences and are very open to new things.

It definitely doesn't take away from my excitement- I was just very surprised to hear that the food was just "meh". I actually, contrary to what one poster said, had some amazing dining experiences at Walt Disney World so I was kind of thinking along those lines. But, I'll be honest, I didn't even think about the freshness vs frozen aspect of it.

And I will share what we thought afterwards!! (still have some time left, though! )
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:59 AM   #24
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I agree with others that you should go with an open mind. We've only been on 6 DCL cruises - Wonder, Magic and Dream (Fantasy coming up in April). I have never found the food to be bland. But I don't like highly seasoned foods and am not fond of "hot spiced" foods, I do like flavor though. There have only been maybe 2 meals out of all of them that I did not care for, so I think that's pretty good odds. I always find items on the buffet that I like. I would not class "ALL" foods on the buffet as terrible. If you do get something you don't like, let your server know and they will bring you something else of your choice.
Not all so called "great" restaurants prepare great meals all of the time. I've had some pretty lousy restaurant meals that weren't replaced, that I paid good money for, and I've had some great meals at "lesser" restaurants.
Just know you wont go hungry while onboard. You will be able to find food to your likeing somewhere, and if you don't like something speak up and they'll take care of it for you.
Have a great cruise
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:14 PM   #25
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However, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect it to be better than Applebee's, which I would agree is a pretty good estimation of the actual quality on DCL (although the type of dishes are quite different).
That assessment is spot-on for me. The food is generally going to be equivalent to your local AppleChiliMcFunster's, just gussied up a bit. Go in knowing that and avoid disappointment.

There are ways to work with it. You can get fresh eggs at the omelet station at breakfast. When the fruit looks fresh and ripe it's definitely good. Look for salads and "one-off" type items on the buffets--they tend to be products of a sous-chef's ingenuity in using something up and have tended to be quite good in my experience. Indulge your taste for greasy cheeseburgers, gooey pizza, and chicken tenders for a few days.

It's definitely institutional food, but it's a great opportunity to sample a little of everything as there's really no consequences like there are at a shoreside restaurant. Don't like something? Try something else! You'll eventually find something you enjoy.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:32 PM   #26
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As long as you're aware that your food isn't actually being prepared to your specific order (except in Palo and Remy), you'll be fine.

Food is very subjective. What I like, there will be others who feel what I like is garbage. It's very similar to banquet quality food, prepared for hundreds of diners at once. And there's only so much you can do with chicken, fish, and beef.

I think the range on DCL runs from fair to very good, with occasional greats and not so goods.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:33 PM   #27
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Oh no-I am getting a little worried from reading these posts. We are going in July on our first cruise and honestly, I was expecting some really great food. I realize that probably thousands of meals are prepared, however at the cost of almost $5,000 (family of 4, cat 4) for 4 nights, I do expect excellent and in some cases over the top food. I do not expect powdered eggs, which I can get at a free breakfast at Comfort Inn...or poor quality steaks or frozen pastries. I guess I was just naive...
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:43 PM   #28
pearlieq
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Oh no-I am getting a little worried from reading these posts. We are going in July on our first cruise and honestly, I was expecting some really great food. I realize that probably thousands of meals are prepared, however at the cost of almost $5,000 (family of 4, cat 4) for 4 nights, I do expect excellent and in some cases over the top food. I do not expect powdered eggs, which I can get at a free breakfast at Comfort Inn...or poor quality steaks or frozen pastries. I guess I was just naive...
It really is subjective, I think. The food outside of Palo/Remy is mass-produced and while it generally looks good, the logistical limitations of storing that much food, feeding that many people, and catering to the tastes of Middle America result in food that isn't generally amazing.

This is not to say I haven't had some tasty meals. I've also seen lots of lovely presentation (DCL really does excel at making their food look good). To be clear, the food isn't bad by any means. You will find some things you really like. You will find many, many things that are fine. There will be a few duds.

The best thing I can say is that many of the people here posting that the food is middle-of-the-road (myself included) are very satisfied repeat customers for DCL. I'm sure you'll have a great experience overall!
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:44 PM   #29
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I would say that this review is spot on. Food is edible, but not going to blow you away. It's presented beautifully but doesn't taste as good as it looks. It's very bland, even when something sounds like it will be tasty. I'm not even a food snob and regularly visit chain restaurants, but I was not impressed with the food. It's not enough to keep me from returning, however!
I concur. The food was bland but the service was great and the company of other cruisers like other cruisers like Keurigirl and her family more than made up for the bland food.
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Old 01-28-2013, 07:51 PM   #30
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Oh no-I am getting a little worried from reading these posts. We are going in July on our first cruise and honestly, I was expecting some really great food. I realize that probably thousands of meals are prepared, however at the cost of almost $5,000 (family of 4, cat 4) for 4 nights, I do expect excellent and in some cases over the top food. I do not expect powdered eggs, which I can get at a free breakfast at Comfort Inn...or poor quality steaks or frozen pastries. I guess I was just naive...
You get the same food whether you booked a cat 4 or a cat 11C. A family of 4 can cruise for a whole lot less than $5000 for 4 nights. However, I do get your point.
,
The food is decent....just not great, and not as good as it used to be. In the early days, we'd go to the fruit station at Castaway Cay and the CM would cut up the mango (or pineapple or whatever) right in front of us. Yup, that's fresh. Honestly, the food was a lot better on Celebrity and the price was a lot less. However, there are many things other than food that my family liked better on Disney.
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