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Old 01-28-2013, 09:26 PM   #31
Yokelridesagain
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Originally Posted by gone2disney View Post
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...
If you're going FOR the food (i.e., having great dining experiences is a major expectation for your vacation), you should consider a different cruise line--quite possibly a different type of vacation. With the possible exception of a few of the 'if you have to ask, you can't afford it' luxury lines, there are limits to what is feasible in the food realm on a cruise ship. Celebrity is usually said to have the best food, although if you go to a board for Celebrity fanboys, you will find many of them complaining that the food was MUCH better 10 years ago.

I do think you can enjoy eating on Disney, however. I second the comment about 'special' (i.e., not repeated from day-to-day) items on the buffets. That's the one place where you may find some more interesting flavor profiles. I imagine that they may let the chefs try out some local flavors from their home countries on the buffet where it's not such an issue if some people don't like it.

I wish DCL would move more in that direction in terms of what they serve. There are many inexpensive and delicious preparations from the Caribbean, Latin America, India, etc. that could be served in a banquet setting. I would much rather have a dish made with chicken with assertive flavors than a tired dish made from frozen elk medallions. DCL seems to be trying to convince us that elk medallions are 'fancy', when in fact it just means that their supplier got a great deal on farmed elk.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:26 PM   #32
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We just returned from a wonderful trip on the fantasy! my sister and I both agreed that the food in the MDR's was not great. Most was average. Only one entree stands out as amazing and that was a pan seared sea bass served on risotto in enchanted garden.

Surprisingly my two favorite things I ate were the BLT from room service, and a turkey & cranberry sandwich at Flo's cafe. I also thought the pirate night buffet was yummy!! Especially the crepes!!
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:32 PM   #33
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Add me to the list of folks that were disappointed in the food on the Dream. We sailed Princess for our honeymoon (granted, 11 years ago) and thought the food was much better on that cruise.

In general, things looked much better than they tasted -- some things were even inedible.

We have young kids, so are likely to do a Disney cruise again some day -- but we definitely won't be coming back for the food.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:06 AM   #34
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I liken the food on the Dream to "Wedding food". It's mass produced, may have sat around for a bit, looks nice but is overall bland.

I also find that a number of dishes there's one part that's good but the rest, not so much.

For instance - in the Enchanted Garden - the scallops were cooked well and warm but the pearl pasta was almost cold, flavourless and mushy. I ate the scallops and the vegetables (I think asparagus?) but the rest I left. It looked pretty but there wasn't anything there to wow me.

The sit down lunches in the Royal Palace were better than our dinners. I think because they serve fewer people, it's more cooked to order so it was fresher and better put together. They also had a decent menu (I think to entice people to use the dining room).

DCL also does the "fast food" stuff by the pool well - good quality cheeseburgers, chicken fingers and the fries were always hot in my experience. The fruit was fresh and plentiful and the sandwiches weren't just a slice of meat and cheese - there were some interesting combinations.

On our first cruise on the Magic - there were some standout dishes - things that made me go "wow - that is good!". I didn't have that experience on the Dream.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:34 AM   #35
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As the PP mentioned, we have found the sit-down breakfasts and lunches to be much better than the buffets on our cruises - we've only been on the Magic and the Wonder, though. Maybe it is because the crowds are smaller, but the food is generally hot and very good. I know it's less convenient than the buffets and our DD has to be in the mood to be seated for a while but try them each at least once during your cruise if you can!

We enjoy MDR dinners because we can dress up a little and enjoy the special time with each other. We generally like the food and most of our servers have gladly met any special requests. Palo is, of course, yummy but we've had nice dishes in the MDRs as well. Maybe we're easy to please but we tend not to stress about things when we're cruising. Maybe that's why we like it so much!

I just know you will have a good time and I hope you find the food to your liking so it won't distract from your experience!
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:41 AM   #36
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Everyone in our group of 15 liked the food on the Dream last June. Several of us were vegetarians. I wouldn't call it gourmet and not as nice as places that the tab runs to $80-100 for the two of us(we don't drink alcohol so take that into account lol). But it was better than your standard chain sit down places.

It's mass produced food. I try to keep that in mind. I loved it all though.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:47 AM   #37
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It's not as good as it was when we started cruising in 2003. Back then it was difficult to narrow my selection down to one or two entrees. Now I find it difficult to find one thing that I would settle for on a couple menus. We really started to notice the change in 2010.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:50 AM   #38
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I consider myself a "foodie", and I've been on 10 Disney cruises. I think you are getting really good information from the previous posters.

I think that "banquet food" really describes the quality level of the food in the MDRs. In typical Disney fashion, however, they do a very good job of putting on a good "show" in the dining rooms. The decor is either fun, whimsical, or elegant, the servers are generally very attentive and engaging, the food is presented as if it were much higher quality than it actually is, and the whole dining experience is, in my opinon, "fun". I look forward to dinner at night, even though I'm well aware that I'm not exactly going to have the best tasting meal I've ever had.

If you close your eyes and eat the food, you probably couldn't tell the difference between the quality of Disney and your average Marriot/Sheraton conference room, but when you put the whole experience together, it SEEMS like you are eating in a much higher quality establishment. That's what makes Disney "Disney", I guess.

Last edited by soonerdoc; 01-30-2013 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 01-30-2013, 09:51 AM   #39
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I consider myself a "foodie", and I've been on 10 Disney cruises. I think you are getting really good information from the previous posters.

I think that "banquet food" really describes the quality level of the food in the MDRs. In typical Disney fashion, however, they do a very good job of putting on a good "show" in the dining rooms. The decor is either fun, whimsical, or elegant, the servers are generally very attentive and engaging, the food is presented as if it much higher quality than it actually is, and the whole dining experience is, in my opinon, "fun". I look forward to dinner at night, even though I'm well aware that I'm not exactly going to have the best tasting meal I've ever had.

If you close your eyes and eat the food, you probably couldn't tell the difference between the quality of Disney and your average Marriot/Sheraton conference room, but when you put the whole experience together, it SEEMS like you are eating in a much higher quality establishment. That's what makes Disney "Disney", I guess.
This pretty much nails it.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:14 AM   #40
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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.
Spot on! I don't see how people can expect the food to be anything but banquet food when it is being prepared for so many people at the same time.

But what I have always found is that the servers will do their best to let you pick and choose between dishes - the meat from one entree with the potatoes from another, that sort of thing - even though it is being mass produced.


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Celebrity is usually said to have the best food, although if you go to a board for Celebrity fanboys, you will find many of them complaining that the food was MUCH better 10 years ago.
I'm certainly no foodie but when we cruised Celebrity we didn't enjoy the food in the MDR at all, although their buffet restaurant was far better than on DCL.

And our servers on Celebrity really didn't match up to the supposed 'cut above' that the cruise line portrays. They didn't care two hoots whether we had a good meal or not. I will never forget asking if I could have a baked potato with my entree instead of whatever was on the menu and being told, starkly, "No". Being used to Disney service I initially thought he was joking, but he wasn't!

It was the most expensive cruise we've taken, it cost more than the 15-night Disney Panama, but I wasn't allowed to have a baked potato at dinner.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:41 AM   #41
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I'm certainly no foodie but when we cruised Celebrity we didn't enjoy the food in the MDR at all, although their buffet restaurant was far better than on DCL.

And our servers on Celebrity really didn't match up to the supposed 'cut above' that the cruise line portrays. They didn't care two hoots whether we had a good meal or not. I will never forget asking if I could have a baked potato with my entree instead of whatever was on the menu and being told, starkly, "No". Being used to Disney service I initially thought he was joking, but he wasn't!

It was the most expensive cruise we've taken, it cost more than the 15-night Disney Panama, but I wasn't allowed to have a baked potato at dinner.
Wow, not our experience on Celebrity at all. We found the food to be "mass produced," but definitely an improvement over DCL's current fare--and with the above, the biggest disappointment has been the decline in DCL quality. On Celebrity one night, my daughter took a bite of her dessert and put it down saying that she didn't like it. Within SECONDS, a manager was at her table quizzing her about what she didn't like about it. He then produced a clean fork and tasted it, declaring that "it wasn't good." And a few minutes later he appeared with something that she LOVED based on what she had told him. We were impressed, as she had just intended to not eat any dessert based on the first bite. The same manager showed up the next night just to be sure she was happy with her food.
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:17 AM   #42
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Powdered eggs - Dream cruise

I think the DCL strategy is to serve powdered eggs on the last morning before debarking (disembarking?) so that you're so disappointed in the taste, you finish quickly and leave, allowing them more time to prep for the next sailing.

I was never disappointed in any meals to a degree that I would send anything back but there's no questioning that the quality suffers from having to prep and serve so many in such a short period of time.

For example, I was really looking forward to a bison steak but was underwhelmed by it being dried out. It is a type of meat that is prone to that, as I'm sure the chef is aware, but they obviously didn't have a good enough strategy to deal with it.

I was pleasantly surprised with Cabana's and the quick service options near the pool (Flo's, 'Mater's, etc.). Not that it was an epicurean delight, just that it was better than most for that style of dining.

We were on a 4 day and didn't try room service but we'll try that this time to see if it's a little "fresher" since we'll probably have it at a non-traditional time and they'll be making it as a "one off."

I'm not allowing anyone else to try this because if we all did...!
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Old 01-30-2013, 11:48 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by GoHabsGo
I think the DCL strategy is to serve powdered eggs on the last morning before debarking (disembarking?) so that you're so disappointed in the taste, you finish quickly and leave, allowing them more time to prep for the next sailing.

I was never disappointed in any meals to a degree that I would send anything back but there's no questioning that the quality suffers from having to prep and serve so many in such a short period of time.

For example, I was really looking forward to a bison steak but was underwhelmed by it being dried out. It is a type of meat that is prone to that, as I'm sure the chef is aware, but they obviously didn't have a good enough strategy to deal with it.

I was pleasantly surprised with Cabana's and the quick service options near the pool (Flo's, 'Mater's, etc.). Not that it was an epicurean delight, just that it was better than most for that style of dining.

We were on a 4 day and didn't try room service but we'll try that this time to see if it's a little "fresher" since we'll probably have it at a non-traditional time and they'll be making it as a "one off."

I'm not allowing anyone else to try this because if we all did...!
On the Wonder I was able to get eggs made to order in the dining room on our debarkation morning
Room service is very fresh- live the quesadillas and the BLT's. I crave BLT's while onboard!
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:55 PM   #44
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We've found that the food on the Classic Ships is much better than the Dream (or according to family members, the Fantasy).

That said, if Enchanted Garden was a real restaurant at home we'd eat there -- depending on if you order "correctly." That's my measure of the food really. Would you eat at this restaurant at home? If yes, then who cares if its banquet food. It's good enough to enjoy. For Enchanted Garden, Definitely skip the scallops. Frozen scallops don't sear well and get rubbery.

That said, Royal Palace (on 2 different cruises) is just disgusting I tried to like it, I really did.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:40 PM   #45
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Agree wholeheartedly with previous posters. One other piece of information I wanted to share though that I don't think has been mentioned.

Ask your servers for recommendations - on our last cruise I started ordering whatever the server recommended for dinner in the MDR a few days into the cruise and found that I liked what I got a great deal more. The servers know what's good.

I will also echo what folks say about Remy. It may not be the best restaurant in the world, but it is very very good and $75 a person is a bargain for a meal of that caliber. Also consider the Remy champagne brunch - some of the brunch courses topped what we got at dinner.

I thought Palo was good, certainly better than the MDRs, but nowhere near as good as Remy.
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