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Old 09-04-2012, 07:35 PM   #31
tajz90
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Originally Posted by Gina
I am faaaaar from being a foodie, but even if I was I would still hold to the firm belief that any meal I don't have to cook or clean up after is pretty dang a-ok to me!

And being able to have Mickey bars for dessert? Cherry on top.
Oh gosh, that's my mom. She will get a dessert and a Mickey Bar every time!!!!
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:35 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by GBChicinMaine View Post
I am interested to know what seating you were assigned to. Our first cruise, several years ago, we were assigned to the early seating. We thought the food was good, but not anything to fawn over. (In the interest of full disclosure DH is a former chef who specialized in high end french cuisine. I eat like a queen most nights. ) The following cruises we had the late seating and ohmygoodness... The food was AMAZING. It's not very often when I get to hear DH comment about how much he enjoys someone ELSE's dishes.

Oh, and a lot of the sides (particularly potato dishes) were either super bland, or over salted. No happy medium.

...we have talked them in to the late seating. Here's hoping for the dining experience I "DREAM"ed about last year!
We had second seating, so I am afraid I can't vouch for that plan. But again, different kitchens on different ships with different chefs may be better... I hope it works out!!

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Originally Posted by Terapin View Post
I always try to 'pick smart' when eating at Disney, whether in the parks or on the ship. For instance, most pasta dishes will be ok, lobster will be yucky. Ribs are unlikely to be great, but lamb chops are usually ok. I always try to envision what could be cooked en masse, be held for a few minutes or more, and still survive as 'tasty'. Soup is often a good choice, as is salad.

I was reasonably satisfied with my DCL and park food, given what I expected about being in mass dining rotations. We've also had amazing food where the chefs can shine, like at V + A, and the best chicken parmesan I have ever had a Palo, but I don't expect it other places, truly I don't.
Both pastas I had was like a frozen meal--bland and gummy. The lobster wasn't too bad, just overcooked. Ribs were soooo fatty I barely had any meat, but the flavor was alright. Every soup I tried (with the exception of the cold fruit puree soups) was overly salty and seemed to be thickened with flour--that thick, pasty taste and texture, if you know what I mean. Salads were fine, but I couldn't make a meal of them. Shrimp in both the dining room and at Palo were overcooked. The only other seafood I dared to try was a risotto with scallops and it was a gummy pile with lukewarm flavorless scallops on top.

I will say that my park food experiences have been mostly stellar. We love many of the restaurants in World Showcase, and eat at places like California Grill (which is the level we kind of expected Palo to be at--"park fine dining"), Yachtsman Steakhouse (they even had menu item on night called the "Yachtsman Steakhouse New York" and it was an insult to that restaurant!), etc. Heck, even though Hoop Dee Doo Revue is a catering style dinner, we think they do a great job with that (low expectations were well exceeded both times)!

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Originally Posted by JCfromTB View Post
I wouldn't expect Ruths Chris style dining if you're not willing to pay for Palo or Remy.

At the end of the day, if you get something that doesn't taste good... ask for something else. That's the magic of being on a cruise! I find it hard to believe that people would have 3 meals for 7 days straight and be unsatisfied with every meal.
But even when we DID pay for Palo we had a bad experience. And I never would have expected Ruth's Chris in any case, but when the tenderloin is overcooked, the shrimp is overcooked, they forget an entire course...I can't say I would pay to go back for dinner there.

I suppose I could outline everything I ate and what I felt was wrong with it, but that would just sound like whining; and to be honest, I don't feel I have to defend or "prove" my experience. Please trust that this was not an exaggeration, no matter how much you may think it is. I did not send anything back for something else mainly because dinner goes by so fast and everyone has plans to be someplace else after, so when you are dining with other people you don't want to hold up the flow of the meal. That said, my husband had similarly disappointing meals every time (he had a few more positive "hits" than I did, but not many), so I was certainly not confident that anything I sent to replace my meal was going to be any better. Luckily, the service was lovely as was our company, so it wasn't like I was sulking my way through every meal.

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Originally Posted by Pinkgurlshubby View Post
We were on the magic in 2008 and the only thing we didn't like was the bacon. It had absolutely no flavour at all, like it was never smoked. On a trip report someone flamed me saying there is one person who's only job on the Magic is cooking bacon but maybe I'd like to give him some pointers. This had nothing to do with the person cooking it but with the quality of product he was supplied with.
I like the buffet line and cheese selection. I have to agree with what TB posted. I wouldn't go n an entire cruise and not like anything that was ever served to me. I've seen servers combine items from different menus to make someone happy. I think they do a great job.
I have to agree on the bacon! LOL A little nest of paper thin flavorless bacon. It has to do with the product, not necessarily the cook. I liked the buffet selection alright, but didn't want to spend every night in the cacophony and atmosphere of a buffet.

And I am sorry if you don't believe me either, but it's true. The two memorable things I had were a piece of shrimp off my hubby's plate on the night of the Captain's Gala--the only hot shrimp not overcooked my entire trip--and the chocolate souffle at Palo (but I am not a sweet-tooth person, so while it was delicious, I wasn't rolling my eyes back in my head like other people might. Haha!) As I mentioned above, it would have taken up time each night to try and re-jigger my meal and we had places to be. I kept thinking that surely the next meal would be better, and I ordered very different things every night in an attempt to strike on a menu category that would be better prepared (steak one night, pasta another night, seafood another night, soups, salads, etc) but not a one really hit the mark.

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Originally Posted by Weedy View Post
I have cruised Disney many times and feel the food is just OK. Palo is good, Palo Brunch is very good.

But if you read these boards much you will see many people comment that they feel the food is too fancy. To me it is very plain and not much flavor. The appetizers are usually better than the meals.
I can see why people might find it "fancy", though I enjoyed the attempts at more creative fare (in theory more than in practice). I could see them do some American fare very well--fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn is a great staple I bet many people would enjoy. A mixed green salad with a selection of toppings would also probably make people really happy (choose a dressing, "do you want croutons and bacon bits with that?"). I am not saying I would need or want these things on the menu, but I can see how the preparations may confound people who just want a basic staple or two.

I really enjoy that Disney does their rotational dining. It was cool to be in a different venue and trying different menus each night, whether or not the food was up to what I was hoping. But I could see how other cruise lines, with a single dining room and dedicated menu, might be able to deliver more consistent meals. Perhaps it is the focus on the "show" of the meal, and not enough on the quality, that is its downfall...

I really appreciate everyone's feedback!
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:47 PM   #33
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We were recently on the Fantasy and thought the food was rather good. The experience at Palo on a previous cruise has been disappointing but this go round the experience was much better. Remy Brunch was very good. In the dining rooms we usually took the server's suggestions. Overall, we were pleased with the food compared to other DCL cruises we have taken.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:49 PM   #34
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Food is a matter of preference. We have had good and ok on DCL. A couple of times we have had food overcooked and one time too fatty. We asked our server to send it back and got upgraded meal returned. We also ask the servers their suggestions and have found a relationship with the server is great. We have been guided away from some of the poorer dishes this way. I agree that there should not be any poor dishes but we have worked around the system.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:55 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terapin View Post
I always try to 'pick smart' when eating at Disney, whether in the parks or on the ship. For instance, most pasta dishes will be ok, lobster will be yucky. Ribs are unlikely to be great, but lamb chops are usually ok. I always try to envision what could be cooked en masse, be held for a few minutes or more, and still survive as 'tasty'. Soup is often a good choice, as is salad. Also with food costing, I expect sea food to be scanty or small in size, like shrimp cocktail only have a few shrimp, where other dishes with lower costing will be more filling. It is really about picking dishes than can stand up to a bit of kitchen abuse!

I was reasonably satisfied with my DCL and park food, given what I expected about being in mass dining rotations. We've also had amazing food where the chefs can shine, like at V + A, and the best chicken parmesan I have ever had a Palo, but I don't expect it other places, truly I don't.
Terapin, You have pretty much summed up how I choose items from the ship's menu.

We just got off the Wonder to Alaska too and found the food vastly improved over our Wonder cruise to Hawaii earlier this year. Our food arrived hot, the soup was sometimes almost too hot, but so much better than the luke warm of previous cruises.

Dishes I enjoyed the most on this cruise were the Ribs on Pirate night and the Lamb Shank in Tritons. DH enjoyed the Elk. The Penette Pasta in Animators was delicious, the prosciutto was cooked crisp like bacon, and the turkey was small bites size pieces that were so tender. That night we were served some Roasted Garlic dip with our bread, that half way through my meal I added to the pasta dish. Oh wow, what a difference that made! It was then that I realized that Disney is trying to cater to everyone's palate by creating everything to be fairly mild. I cook with a lot of garlic and onion at home and am not afraid to season with herbs and spices.

While I am not above eating a Big Mac once in a while, our favorite everyday restaurant is the Cheesecake Factory. For fine dining we choose local restaurants over chains. We enjoy brunch at Palo's but don't usually bother with dinner, and choose to eat in the MDR to enjoy the company of our table mates.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:55 PM   #36
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I wouldn't call myself a foodie, per se, but I do enjoy more upscale restaurants, but tend to order more simple meals (meat & potatoes done well, if you will.) I am not a fan of more exotic ingredients and/or unusual preparations. I also live in Chicago, where I believe there are a plethora of great restaurants. I shy away from national chains and find such food to usually be mediocre. I think Chicagoans can be food snobs but not necessarily foodies.

Here's my take on the food on the Fantasy a few months back. Loved Palo brunch and dinner. Had the chicken parmesan for brunch, and the filet with a side of lobster ravioli for dinner and chocolate souffle for dessert. Really enjoyed the pace of these meals and the quality of the food as well. I didn't even try Remy, because I thought it would be too sophisticated for my palate. As for dinners in the MDR's, in general, it reminded me of banquet/wedding food. Usually lukewarm, either completely bland or overly salty, and very difficult to get anything modified (without sauce, or with a different side.) I don't eat onions and this made it very difficult for me to get a complete meal that I really enjoyed. I will say my most pleasant surprise for me was lunch at Royal Court. One day I had a wonderful caprese salad, followed by a seafood risotto with shrimp, scallops and lobster (it was hot and delicious.) And something really good for dessert, but I can't remember what it was. I went back the following day with my son and also enjoyed my lunch. If I had discovered it sooner, I'd have probably had lunch there every day. And if I'd eaten dinner at Palo before my last night, I certainly would have tried to eat there again, too. The food and service there were so much to my liking.

One more comment. We only ate at Cabana's a few times....it was okay. I would say it was better than Old Country Buffet, which is really all I have to compare it too. But I'm a single mom and not a huge fan of buffets. I like to be waited on.
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Old 09-04-2012, 07:56 PM   #37
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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?
I agree with your post completely. I am just off the the Fantasy and have also sailed the 3 other ships ... spot on.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:17 PM   #38
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I am faaaaar from being a foodie, but even if I was I would still hold to the firm belief that any meal I don't have to cook or clean up after is pretty dang a-ok to me!

And being able to have Mickey bars for dessert? Cherry on top.
I agree! I am not a foodie, and I like Red Lobster and Olive Garden just fine. I recall enjoying the food on 2 Wonder cruises (1/08 and 12/09) and 1 Dream cruise (2/11), but I especially enjoyed dinner at Palo on the Dream. However, I don't cruise for the food, so like Gina - I am happy that I don't have to cook or clean up afterwards!

Ditto on the Mickey bars!
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:27 PM   #39
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I also consider the main dining food to be the lowlight of a Disney cruise. The meals are long, the descriptions pretentious, the food--as many have said--cheap banquet bad. It's not you.

The food on the lunch buffets wasn't better, but at least you could get it quickly and closer to the temperature at which it was supposed to be served.

DCL really doesn't do much of anything well in terms of food. Out of the 27 dishes I ate in the MDR, I would have allowed two of them to leave the kitchen (both cold fruit soups). Most were just edibly bland, and several were total failures--'fancy' stuff like escargot, lobster, elk, and oysters Rockefeller seemed most likely to be on that list. I would encourage them to drop the 'fine dining' charade and concentrate on doing simple, reproducible things well--but since they also can't manage to cook a simple pizza, I'm not sure they're capable of that either!
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:27 PM   #40
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We went on the Queen Mary 2 in 2004 and the Disney Magic in 2012. QM2 was spectacular. Food was amazing. Entertainment fantastic. Kids clubs, planetarium, restaurants, an entire floor of shopping, bars, a casino, a spa, a Library, workout room...we kept hearing how great Disney was and we booked it. The only thing we liked better were the shows on Disney. And the QM2 was cheaper! So I suggest, try a few different lines and see what works for you. if you weren't happy with the food on Disney ships, and you are willing to pay the premium, try something else for comparison.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:29 PM   #41
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I also consider the main dining food to be the lowlight of a Disney cruise. The meals are long, the descriptions pretentious, the food--as many have said--cheap banquet bad. It's not you.

The food on the lunch buffets wasn't better, but at least you could get it quickly and closer to the temperature at which it was supposed to be served.

DCL really doesn't do much of anything well in terms of food. Out of the 27 dishes I ate in the MDR, I would have allowed two of them to leave the kitchen (both cold fruit soups). Most were just edibly bland, and several were total failures--'fancy' stuff like escargot, lobster, elk, and oysters Rockefeller seemed most likely to be on that list. I would encourage them to drop the 'fine dining' charade and concentrate on doing simple, reproducible things well--but since they also can't manage to cook a simple pizza, I'm not sure they're capable of that either!
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:46 PM   #42
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since they also can't manage to cook a simple pizza, I'm not sure they're capable of that either!
I thought the pizza was fine. I had a couple slices each night for a late night snack. Nothing at all like the bad stuff at WDW.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:06 PM   #43
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I'm sorry that you didn't enjoy the food on your cruise. I have to agree with you, that having good food on a vacation is really important. We enjoyed the food we ate on the Disney Magic, there were so many good choices. We sailed on Carnival last year and found the food to be mediocre at best. There was not a big selection to choose from. The lines were too long at the buffet and the food was not good IMOP. I really hope the food is good when we sail in November, really looking forward to going back to Palo.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:06 PM   #44
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I thought the pizza was fine. I had a couple slices each night for a late night snack. Nothing at all like the bad stuff at WDW.
The only pizza on DCL that I like is made in Palo at the brunch
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:08 PM   #45
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I definitely agree that the pizza is not good. The crust is disgusting and the two slices of transparent pepperoni doesn't increase it's over all worth
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