Cruise Ship Food

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Hot Dog Empire
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2012/08/06 22:46:03 (permalink)

Cruise Ship Food

Anyone ever go on a cruise? I'm going on an 8 day cruise at the end of September. I am told by everyone that I will absolutely love the food. But then as the conversation goes on, they talk more and more about quantity and availability of it. I was looking more at possibly trying new things and I was also wondering how they can maintain consistency with over 2,500 meals served 3+ times a day. I already eat too much so quantity is not what appeals to me.
 
Its a Carnival cruise which is supposedly the "Walmart" of cruising. This doesn't bother me as I shop at Walmart every week! I wont post pics/reports when im on board as internet is satellite (s-l-o-w) and the rates are: 
Pricing
Instructions on how to create an account and pricing details are present on-screen in the Internet Café or on your laptop once you connect to Carnival WiFi. Internet pricing is identical, whether you are using the Internet Café terminals, your own laptop or other wireless devices. All Internet charges will be billed directly to your onboard “Sail & Sign” account.
Time Plans offer guests the opportunity to enjoy a lower per-minute rate. These Time Plans are transferable between Internet Café terminals and personal laptops/wireless devices, can be used anytime throughout the cruise until disembarkation and don’t have to be used in a single session. No refund will be provided for unused minutes. Upgrading a pre-selected pricing option is not available and plans are subject to change.
• 480 minutes/8 hours for $159 USD = $3.01/minute
• 240 minutes/4 hours for $89 USD = $2.69/minute
• 120 minutes/2 hours for $59 USD = $2.03/minute
• 45 minutes for $29 USD = $1.55/minute
• Pay As You Go: $0.75/min
Printing – available in the Internet Café at $0.50 USD/job
Activation fee – a one-time $3.95 USD charge applies to each user on their first login only.
Boarding Passes – you can check in online and print your boarding passes in the Internet Café; please note, regular printing and online time charges apply.
 
So if there's interest, I will post pics/reviews when I return. I would welcome feedback from others that have cruised.
 
Thanks!!
#1

17 Replies Related Threads

    Foodbme
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    Re:Cruise Ship Food 2012/08/07 03:57:01 (permalink)
    Which Carnival ship are you on? Some of the newer ones have diversified their food offerings. Most of the older ships are pretty main stream in their offerings.
    The food is mostly attractively presented on the Buffets. Lots of fruit at Breakfast. the lunches are a variety of Picnic offerings, Salads, Cold Cuts.
    All the baked goods & pastries are very good. The Dinners are the equivelent to going to a nice restaurant but not 5 star. More like 2 star. They all have a Pizza dining area an Ice Cream Shop. Usually a lot of Kids on their cruises.
    #2
    edwmax
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    Re:Cruise Ship Food 2012/08/07 07:39:27 (permalink)
    Hot Dog Empire

    .............
    Time Plans offer guests the opportunity to enjoy a lower per-minute rate. These Time Plans are transferable between Internet Café terminals and personal laptops/wireless devices, can be used anytime throughout the cruise until disembarkation and don’t have to be used in a single session. No refund will be provided for unused minutes. Upgrading a pre-selected pricing option is not available and plans are subject to change.
    • 480 minutes/8 hours for $159 USD = $3.01/minute
    • 240 minutes/4 hours for $89 USD = $2.69/minute
    • 120 minutes/2 hours for $59 USD = $2.03/minute
    • 45 minutes for $29 USD = $1.55/minute
    • Pay As You Go: $0.75/min
    Printing – available in the Internet Café at $0.50 USD/job
    Activation fee – a one-time $3.95 USD charge applies to each user on their first login only.    ....
    Thanks!!

       ah ... recheck your math.    480 min @ $159 => 33 cents/min not  $1444.80 ($3.01/min) as noted.
     
    Have fun on your cruise ...
    post edited by edwmax - 2012/08/07 11:45:52
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    hatteras04
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    Re:Cruise Ship Food 2012/08/07 09:45:00 (permalink)
    My wife and I have been on three cruises.  1 on Royal Carribbean and 2 on Celebrity.  The difference in food between the two lines was staggering.  On the Royal Carribbean I would classify the food as pretty good to good in the dining room and very medicore every place else.  The dining room would serve serviceable steaks and chicken dishes and of course on one night the smallest lobsters on the planet.  Still the meals were fun because the service is so good.  The buffets were pretty much at the level of Hometown Buffet food.  The grill with hot dogs, burgers, and pizza was just not worth the calories.  So if you care about the quality, I woudl stick to the dining room as I am guessing this is what Carnival will be like as well.
     
    On Celebrity, the food in the dinigng room is very good to great but the big difference is that the food in the casual areas is also very good to great.  They had a pizza and pasta station that consistently put out wonderful thin and crispy pizzas.  Not all of the food on the buffets was top quality but there was always something worth trying.
     
    I can't really speak to the quality of the late night buffets on either crusie line as we always sign up for the late dinner seating and there is no way to be hungry for a buffet after that.  We also never paid for a dinner in any of the specialty restaurants but the people we talked to who did said they were wonderful.
     
    Be careful about drinks.  They charge for almost everything and there is always tipping involved.  You pay with your card so it is easy to build up a lot of charges.  We checked our balance all the time on the room tv.  Most cruise lines have an option to purchase a soda package for the week and I would definitely sign up for that.  Some have wine packages for dinenr if that interests you as well.  Just don't do like I did and buy a group of people a round at the martini bar.
     
    Bottom line is, relax enjoy being pampered and have fun.    
    #4
    Foodbme
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    Re:Cruise Ship Food 2012/08/07 15:32:19 (permalink)
    Hatteras04 is right about the bar tab & card use. I didn't drink that much or buy that many extras, but when I checked out on a 7 day cruise, my tab was around $500.00!!!
    #5
    eruby
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    Re:Cruise Ship Food 2012/08/07 15:32:46 (permalink)
    We were on the last cruise of the Celebrity Zenith and enjoyed the food very much.  We had sushi (california rolls) most nights as an appetizer and never had a bad meal in the dining room.  If we didn't like an entree, the waiter brought something else.
     
    One night we asked about key lime pie that was being served in 'alternate' dining room (we saw the menu but never found out what that dining room was), and our busboy sprinted off like Carl Lewis on steroids and brought back 2 pieces.  Unfortunately, it was the hideous electric green jiggly kind of pie, so we didn't have much of it.
     
    A coworker has been on Carnival twice out of Baltimore and spoke highly of the food, and they had everything from steak to lobster, to burgers/dogs and the like.
     
    Go thinking you will enjoy it and by cracky, you will.
    #6
    tmiles
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    Re:Cruise Ship Food 2012/08/07 19:18:33 (permalink)
    I was a travel agent for 15 years, and followed the Carnival stock price. Carnival is not only the best run cruise company in the world, but also one of the best managed businesses, period. I have had the pleasure of meeting senior executives. Carnival is, indeed, the WalMart brand, but like Wallyworld, you get a lot for your money. Call 'em the Toyota. They also own Holland America (Buick, Caddy), Windstar (BMW) Costa,,,,,,,,,,,,,I don't know who to compare them to........Fiat? and Seaborn, a tip top luxury brand that I never sold or sailed. Each gives a lot for the money, and the satisfaction rate is very high.  
     
    I don't know how they will handle the Costa situation. It looks bad. That captain should be reduced to common seaman and spend the next 20 years cleaning bilges on an old garbage scow. I'm sure that it will play out in the news.
    post edited by tmiles - 2012/08/07 19:25:32
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    Hot Dog Empire
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    Re:Cruise Ship Food 2012/08/07 19:22:20 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    Which Carnival ship are you on? Some of the newer ones have diversified their food offerings. Most of the older ships are pretty main stream in their offerings.

    Were going on the Miracle. It was refurbished 2 years ago.
     
    Foodbme
    They all have a Pizza dining area an Ice Cream Shop. Usually a lot of Kids on their cruises.

    Were going at the end of September, kids will be back in school by then. We already have an educational plan in place for the 8 day cruise. It in the first few weeks of school, so it wont have the same effect as if we went in January. Pizza/ice cream.....I will probably be thrown overboard if they dont have it. My 10 & 16yo have already mentioned it several times.
     
    I never realized how affordable cruising was. If you figure in the hotels, food misc stuff. Were leaving out of NY, so there's no airfare involved. I works out to about $550 PP, 8 days, extended Balcony. Ive studied up on how to smuggle booze on board, to reduce the bar bills.
     
    post edited by Hot Dog Empire - 2012/08/07 19:39:38
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    Hot Dog Empire
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    Re:Cruise Ship Food 2012/08/07 19:29:30 (permalink)
    tmiles

    I was a travel agent for 15 years, and followed the Carnival stock price. Carnival is not only the best run cruise company in the world, but also one of the best managed businesses, period. I have had the pleasure of meeting senior executives. Carnival is, indeed, the WalMart brand, but like Wallyworld, you get a lot for your money. Call 'em the Toyota. They also own Holland America (Buick, Caddy), Windstar (BMW) Costa,,,,,,,,,,,,,I don't know who to compare them t........Fiat? and Seaborn, a tip top luxury brand that I never sold or sailed. Each gives a lot for the money, and the satisfaction rate is very high.  

     
    Thanks for the qualified feedback, that makes me feel better. Were low maintenance people, as long as the food is edible and staff reasonably polite - were happy. I dont need anyone feeding my ego and I wont get mad if they forget my name. For us, its about having a good time together, forgetting about the year that just went by and making plans for the next year.
    #9
    Hot Dog Empire
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    Re:Cruise Ship Food 2012/08/07 19:33:34 (permalink)
    edwmax

      ah ... recheck your math.    480 min @ $159 => 33 cents/min not  $1444.80 ($3.01/min) as noted.

    Have fun on your cruise ...

    LOL, you right! Not sure what my thought process was at that moment...good thing the wife does the checkbook
    #10
    BelleReve
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    Re:Cruise Ship Food 2012/08/19 12:19:50 (permalink)
    I found www.cruisecritic.com very helpful before my first cruise in 1991.  
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    Sundancer7
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    Re:Cruise Ship Food 2012/08/19 12:40:40 (permalink)
    Roz and I did the Carnival cruise thing a couple of years ago.  Here is what I liked and what I did not:
    LIKED:
    1: We had a suite with a huge balcony with lotsa room
    2: Large bathrooms
    3: Nice beds.
    4: First day
    5: Sitting on the balcony with cocktails, nice book and watching the flying fish.
    6: Very early mornings with no foot traffic.
    7: Some food.
    8: Some of the stop sparticularly Belize although they had to ferry you to shore as they had no docking facility.  In stead of taking the tour to the pyramids, I rented a cab with AC.  Very comfortable and English is the major language there.  We saw huge cashew trees, ancient pyramids and stopped at a cashew wine joint and bought some and sampled some.
    9:  Beautiful new ship only four months old and the largest in the Carnival fleet.  Almost everything worked.
    DISLIKED: 
    1: Most food as it tended to be routine and boring.
    2: Lack of shopping
    3: Seven days was way too much.
    4: Lobster was only available one night.
    5: Some ports of call did not have a dock and they had to ferry you to your destination.
    6: After a couple of days, I really got antsy and sorta felt locked up.
    7: Unfortunately a guy at the next table suddenly fell on the floor and died.  As expected it really shook everybody up.
    8:  I was always hungry at breakfast but it seemed that they had the same thing every morning just like a Marriott hotel. 
     
    I found that buying liquor on board at the liquor store was as cheap or cheaper than some of the stores on shore.  I did not go to the discomfort of smugglin in liquor and I am glad that I did not.  I did not buy cocktails at the bar.  Roz and I had them in the suite.
     
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
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    kland01s
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    Re:Cruise Ship Food 2012/08/19 14:24:51 (permalink)
    I have never wanted to go on a cruise for a number of the reasons Paul listed. I would go nuts basically being in one place! I like to get out and see museums and local sites and markets and not hassle with the boarding on and off and standing in lines. Paul, aren't you glad you didn't take that around the world cruise you thought about a few years ago!
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    Sundancer7
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    Re:Cruise Ship Food 2012/08/19 15:15:13 (permalink)
    kland01s

    I have never wanted to go on a cruise for a number of the reasons Paul listed. I would go nuts basically being in one place! I like to get out and see museums and local sites and markets and not hassle with the boarding on and off and standing in lines. Paul, aren't you glad you didn't take that around the world cruise you thought about a few years ago!

     
    Quite frankly I think that would have been totally different.  The cruise was a brand new ship around the total continent of South America and stopping in ports that I have never been to.  You are correct that it would have been long (42 days) but it would have been different.  The same issues would have been present and I would have been by myself and the southern portion would have been extremely cold but interesting.
     
    I did not do it because it was so long.  I got my deposit back.  In addition, my wife had just died and my attitude was not the best.
     
    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TM 

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    kland01s
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    Re:Cruise Ship Food 2012/08/19 15:48:30 (permalink)
    Sundancer7

     In addition, my wife had just died and my attitude was not the best.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TM 

     
    Yes, I remembered that.
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    Foodbme
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    Re:Cruise Ship Food 2012/08/19 19:51:35 (permalink)
    I was on a cruise after a convention with other convention goers. One was a wealthy Texan. He was used to wide-open spaces and being in total control. Several hours out to sea, he went nuts. Called his office, had them call & charter a helicopter to come take him off the ship!
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    mayor al
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    Re:Cruise Ship Food 2012/08/20 00:29:04 (permalink)
    One of my best friends is currently on a 14 day Alaskan cruise that includes 4 days on the Alaskan Rail Tour before flying back to L A from Anchorage. He reports that the food/menus are repeating day after day...the saving grace is that he loves Prime Rib, and Halibut is his favorite fish...so two meals a day over and over haven't turned him off.  Plenty of Whale Watching on the ride North kept them happy for a week, and the train thing is enough of a change to keep interest high.
      When Jan and I headed to the Great White North, we flew in and rented a car for our ten day stay. We were able to go when and where we wanted to, and take a break for a day or so when that seemed to be the thing to do.  LLeechef showed us around very nicely and we also did the train/boat tour to Seward for a day.  All in all we enjoyed a NON-GROUP oriented vaction very much.  I Too would be affected by the 'closeness' of the ship's space (or lack of it).
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    Hot Dog Empire
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    Re:Cruise Ship Food 2012/08/20 11:19:37 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    I was on a cruise after a convention with other convention goers. One was a wealthy Texan. He was used to wide-open spaces and being in total control. Several hours out to sea, he went nuts. Called his office, had them call & charter a helicopter to come take him off the ship!

    This is my concern also. I dont like group led activity's. If we as a family see something and we want to take a few more minutes to poke around - I want to be able to do that. However, after many nights of online research and talking with people that we know, who have cruised, we decided as a family to try it. There is a ton of activity's on board for the kids and were only at sea for a day, in between each port.
     
    I also joined "Cruise Critic" which is a wealth of information. Were going on Carnival, their website shows the ship,activity's and the dining rooms. 38 more days, ill report back. Were pretty low maintenance people, we'll try new things and hope the "cuisine" is more then 3 new variations of mac & cheese.  The kids are 10 & 16, with 24hr pizza available -  they'll be easy to please.
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