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Old 01-30-2013, 05:47 PM   #46
over50visits
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Although "banquet food" may be a reasonable description of the food, it is far from a banquet experience. The upscale decor of the dining rooms, the nicely attired and extremely attentive staff, the presentation of the food, and their genuine desire to accommodate special requests you might have all set the MDRs far apart from hotel banquets.

You are on a cruise, surrounded by people who (for the most part) look on these meals as a special experience, and you receive much more than a meal - you get an experience.

Relish it, enjoy every minute, and don't worry about something being cold or bland. It happens...forgive them, let them fix it if you really need it, and you'll get back the kindness you give in spades!
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:11 AM   #47
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Sorry to be a tad bit but I watched Top Chef tonight when they were cooking on the cruise ship. It never dawned on me that there would be no open flames. Is that true? Even in Palo or Remy? Got me wondering. That would be hard to do - to not use any flames, like cooking the steak.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:41 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by PizzieDuster View Post
Sorry to be a tad bit but I watched Top Chef tonight when they were cooking on the cruise ship. It never dawned on me that there would be no open flames. Is that true? Even in Palo or Remy? Got me wondering. That would be hard to do - to not use any flames, like cooking the steak.
Last spring on the Wonder Hawaiian cruise, they had a barbeque up on deck on one of the at-sea days, and there was plenty of flame -- my steak was quite charred. The last night of the cruise when the chefs were introduced in the MDR's, I recognized the guy who had served me burnt offerings at the barbeque. Turns out he was the head chef.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:29 AM   #49
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We've cruised on both the Dream and Magic. We preferred the food on the Dream for the most part..but we include Remy in that opinion..delish. On the Magic some of the soups were awful and the seafood was ghastly. We did enjoy Palo brunch though
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:03 PM   #50
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Adjust Your Expectations

Think of food from the Disney perspective -- DCL has to offer food that will appeal to: (a) families with picky-eater children; (b) vegetarians, vegans and specific food allergy sufferers; (c) adult picky-eaters whose think that anything with a sauce is either icky or too spicy; (d) adults and children who might be willing to try something "slightly" exotic, like a Caribbean-influenced or French-influenced dish; (e) adults (and children) actively seeking a challenging food experience; and (f) experienced foodies who have a wide range of food experience. Mix in the fact that the American palate favors somewhat bland flavors and spices, and you have the impossible task of trying to please everyone.

In the buffets, you can pick your own experience, based on the dishes offered (and some are very, very good). In the MDRs, you have food prepared in mass quantities, although there are some "exotic" tastes to be had (we found the Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes in AP, the Ahi Tuna and Avocado Tower in EG, and The Comtesse du Barry's Soup in RP defied the "mass-produced" stereotype). In RP, I got my picky-eating 11 year old to try escargot and wild mushroom soup, and he discovered new favorite foods. Quality among the entree dishes, however, did vary,and I agree with many of the comments about desserts. However, some of the good desserts we had in MDRs were the "non-pastry" items such as the Creme Brulee and Gran Marnier Souffle in RP; the Lemon Mousse in AP; and Bananas Foster Sundae in EG.

The slightly adventurous (and adventurous) will find the Palo dinner and the Palo brunch fun and more oriented to fresh ingredients and quality preparation than the MDR food. We enjoyed the antipasti, various pasta dishes with mushrooms and lobster; the potato gnocci with gorgonzola cheese; the Osso Bucco and lamb; and of course the Chocolate Souffle. All well prepared, all delicious.

The foodie in you will love Remy, if you are inclined that way. Although people can disagree, we thought the combinations of flavors and ingredients (as well as service and atmosphere) made for a memorable food experience. Although I thought the desserts could have been better (but the sweet treats after the meal were definitely NOT disappointing), the cheese course prior to the dessert course more than made up for the letdown in the dessert course -- what a selection! For us, the one Remy dinner more than made up for any disappointment we had in the food elsewhere on the ship (the Fantasy, to be clear).

My point is that if you expect all the food on the ship to match the food that you can get in Remy (or Palo, for that matter), you are setting yourself up for disappointment. That foodie experience is available in those restaurants, albeit at an extra price -- but most cruise ships are trending in that direction (mass produced in the main dining rooms, better and fresher in "specialty" restaurants if you're willing to pay for it). In the MDRs, you can be pleasantly surprised (usually by the appetizers). But don't let any individual mediocre or average dish spoil your enjoyment of the ship -- it's a Disney cruise, with so much more than food to anticipate.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:13 PM   #51
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just got off the Dream a week ago with my parents and some friends. Good reports on the food at Enchanted Garden and Animators Palate, just so so on Palo and Royal Palace. Everyone loved Remy brunch. My parents loved the buffet in Enchanted Garden for breakfast. We avoided the pirate menu (Palo that night) so we only had the restaurant menus.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:20 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by over50visits View Post
Although "banquet food" may be a reasonable description of the food, it is far from a banquet experience. The upscale decor of the dining rooms, the nicely attired and extremely attentive staff, the presentation of the food, and their genuine desire to accommodate special requests you might have all set the MDRs far apart from hotel banquets.

You are on a cruise, surrounded by people who (for the most part) look on these meals as a special experience, and you receive much more than a meal - you get an experience.

Relish it, enjoy every minute, and don't worry about something being cold or bland. It happens...forgive them, let them fix it if you really need it, and you'll get back the kindness you give in spades!
THIS.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:25 PM   #53
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So is the quality of the MDR food, then, comparable to other MDRs on cruise ships of similar size?
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:33 PM   #54
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So is the quality of the MDR food, then, comparable to other MDRs on cruise ships of similar size?
It's so subjective. DH and I don't even agree on whether the Wonder has better food than the Fantasy, or vice versa.

Some dishes are better than others, but overall I would equate DCL with RCL, Princess, and HAL. NCL Hawaii comes in dead last. Celebrity is a bit better than the others.
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:30 PM   #55
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Relish it, enjoy every minute, and don't worry about something being cold or bland. It happens...forgive them, let them fix it if you really need it, and you'll get back the kindness you give in spades!
I think a lot of the experience really depends on whether you have younger children with you or not. It is a lot easier to 'enjoy every minute' if you aren't trying to entertain a bored three year old, or if the food is actually good.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:34 PM   #56
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i won't call myself a "foodie" but will tell you i'm an Italian from NY who's taken cooking courses in the past, who loves to cook, whose wife is a good cook and whose mom is an excellent cook...

that said i've never had a bad meal on any of the four Disney Cruises i've taken and have always been satisfied....
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:40 PM   #57
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I think a lot of the experience really depends on whether you have younger children with you or not. It is a lot easier to 'enjoy every minute' if you aren't trying to entertain a bored three year old, or if the food is actually good.
Although we didn't take them on a Disney cruise, when our children were 3 they were never a burden, they were a delight. Entertaining three year olds was an adventure to say the least, we enjoyed every minute, and knowing what we know now it would have been a delight to expose them to the waiters on DCL. And the food is actually good.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:16 AM   #58
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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 agrees with all three of your numbered points. This has been our experience. We didn't hate the MDR and Buffet food but we didn't think very much of it either.
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:16 AM   #59
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I agree w/a lot of what PPs have to say. I wanted to add that if you really want something w/a little more flavor, let your servers know. When we sailed on the 2010 WBTA, our tablemates were talking about Indian food, which must have been overheard by our servers. We got some delicious (and definitely NOT bland) food on that trip, I can tell you. It seems that trip had a number of Indian chefs on board and they were delighted to prepare some of their homeland foods for us. Now I'm not saying that this would always happen, but it's worth asking, right?

As for our experiences in the MDR, I'd have to say without any hesitation that the worst food we ever had on DCL was on our 2012 Inaugural Hawaii cruise last May (the service was terrific; the food not so much). One morning we had breakfast in one of the MDRs and I was served pancakes that were so hard I couldn't cut them w/a knife....no joke! Our friends ordered a crab cocktail that consisted of a glass w/a crab claw sticking out of it. That was it.

On the other hand, some of the best food we had was on the Fantasy last September. There was very little we didn't enjoy. And I agree w/listening to your servers. They have a pretty good idea what are the better things on the menu to order.

Bottom line? Just relax and enjoy the experience; it's Disney!
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Old 02-01-2013, 12:19 AM   #60
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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 will not get excellent or over the top food on most cruise ships.
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