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Old 11-04-2007, 05:08 AM
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One quick response on the food on the Spirit last week. I will write a review later. The food was sub par. The presentation was good but the taste, well there was none. There are two dining rooms to choose from if you dont want to pay a surcharge and they both have the same menu. The best steak and only beef offered to us in these two dining rooms was skirt steak. I had just been on a disney and there was a good selection of steaks at every meal. We went to the chocolate buffet on the Spirit and after tasting several selections my husband ask me if we got the ones that were for show only because they also had mo taste. Room service menu is very limited and I do mean limited. Freestyle is for the birds I have decided that since it is done this way ther is no ownership of the job and making the customer happy. So, if you are going to expect a good meal, you may want to pay the extra 40.00 a day surcharge for the steak house.
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Old 11-04-2007, 06:09 AM
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That's too bad, jacquelinec, and I wish the food could have been more enjoyable for you. Thank you for sharing this information with us--and for the tip on the skirt steak.
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Old 11-04-2007, 07:30 AM
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There's more to "Gourmet Continential" food than just serving higher cut steaks. Yes, the higher cut steaks will only be found in the surcharged speciality restaurants anymore. If the free restaurants served the higher cuts, who would ever want to pay to dine at the surcharged restaurants? But the menu choices left at the included free restaurants aren't that bad. You're not going to starve aboard a cruise ship. I believe all the cruise lines with alternate surcharged dining choices are cutting back at their free restaurants.

Taste is very subjective and personal. For example, my twin brother prefers "Mild" cheese, I prefer "Sharp" cheese. His taste buds are different than mine, anything stronger than "Mild" is too strong for him. I can't taste the cheese unless it's "Sharp" or stronger. I wonder if the fact he no longer smokes is why?

I'm sorry you didn't try dining at the free, non-surcharged restaurants aboard the Spirit. Not all the alternate speciality restaurants aboard the Spirit have a surcharge. While it is true that Cagney's Steakhouse surcharge is $20 per person, $40 for two, there are times when it is available at half price. And Cagney's is the more expensive restaurant aboard, Le Bistro only charges $15 per person, and Shogun charges just $12.50 per person. The surcharge isn't $40 per person, as you suggested.
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Old 11-04-2007, 12:49 PM
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we did the specialty restaurant that was "free" and it was so so.....I ordered turkey one night in the dining room and it was comparitive to a tv dinner....... as for the other choices.....no lamb, and the pork roast was blah. I think you get the picture. I was not in the minority, just about everyone we talked to said that the food was terrible and that they would not do NCL again. There is a grill (fast food, fish and chips, shepherds pir, potato skins) without a surcharge that is in the direct pathway to get from one end of the ship to the other, and there is the one on the top deck that serves hamburgers, hot dogs, etc. the italian which we ate in. The only time that one of the restaurants were offered at half price is the first night and if you booked a reservation for a speciality restaurant each night. Since I paid 3600.00 for the six day cruise I guess I thought some of the "good food" would be included. The room service onlyu had sandwiches, fruit, and the desert of the day. The steward said that this was a limited room service cruise, wonder what that means. Live and learn.
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Old 11-04-2007, 01:23 PM
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I can't believe "Every" meal was bad...NCL usually has a good menu selection in the "Free" dining rooms...but then again I wasn't on your trip....I wouldn't stop cruising on NCL because of some bad meals....you will have people complaining about food on any ship...I did have a bad experience on the Jewel with a few meals, but overall I have no problem with Freestyle dining....and it must be working because more and more ships are moving in that direction....
Sorry you had a bad experience...happy cruising on your next time out...

Bob E
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Old 11-04-2007, 01:31 PM
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I guess I tend to agree. Why would NCL (or any cruise line that is going freestyle) offer the same steaks, saeafood, more gourmet entrees, etc in the "free" dining rooms if they can get you to pay for it in the specialty restaurants. In the "old days" there were no dining options, so if a cruise line wanted to impress you with their cuisine they had to do it in the main dining room. While I agree that $10-20 is more than a reasonable amount to pay for a dinner in a specialty restaurant, we certainly are paying enough for our cruises and we should not be subject to any less than the finest in dining options if we choose to dine in the main dining room. I have most recently cruised on the Caribbean Princess, and found their main dining room menus to be superb, with steaks, lobster and other gourmet entrees available every night.
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Old 11-04-2007, 01:36 PM
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Very sorry to hear about your experience but thanks for sharing it. I've never though of NCL as a fine dining cruise experience. I'm going to be taking a short one from NY next month on their new NCL Gem and will give a mini-review when I get back. If they are in fact cutting quality in the main (free) dining venues to increase revenue by forcing people to the specialty (extra cost options) I believe it is a mistake that will catch up to them. I think your experience was perhaps limited to this ship on this date, at least I hope so. Overall I don't think they do a bad job with food and service fleetwide. With that said they also don't try to compete with the lines known for more upscale dining in the main (free) dining rooms. Sonny just got off an RCI ship as did I a month ago. We both loved the prime rib and lobster night as well as many other nights with NY strip, ribeye, many fish and seafood options. And RCI is not even considered one of the premium dining lines.

Freestyle suits many people well for dining and a more lenient dress code among other things. They have a very loyal following but they're not the right choice for everyone and they freely admit it. If fine dining included in your cruise fare is a priority you may want to consider other options in the future. Some good options would be Celebrity, HAL, RCI and Princess. Everyone has their own favorite but overall I think you'll find all four have very good dining and service and all are a very good value on most sailings.

Cheers, Neil
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Old 11-04-2007, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jacquelinec:
we did the specialty restaurant that was "free" and it was so so.....I ordered turkey one night in the dining room and it was comparitive to a tv dinner....... as for the other choices.....no lamb, and the pork roast was blah. I think you get the picture. I was not in the minority, just about everyone we talked to said that the food was terrible and that they would not do NCL again. There is a grill (fast food, fish and chips, shepherds pir, potato skins) without a surcharge that is in the direct pathway to get from one end of the ship to the other, and there is the one on the top deck that serves hamburgers, hot dogs, etc. the italian which we ate in. The only time that one of the restaurants were offered at half price is the first night and if you booked a reservation for a speciality restaurant each night. Since I paid 3600.00 for the six day cruise I guess I thought some of the "good food" would be included. The room service onlyu had sandwiches, fruit, and the desert of the day. The steward said that this was a limited room service cruise, wonder what that means. Live and learn.
Whereas Lamb isn't available every night, Lamb is served two or three times during a week long cruise on NCL ships. Just like you wouldn''t expect Turkey served every night. Since the menus are the same fleet wide, these Dawn menus from August reflect what was and is available on the Spirit.

http://travel.webshots.com/album/560...FrLxC?start=12

Yes, higher cuts of beef isn't available anymore from the free main restaurants, but beef is served every night. You'll find lobster on one night as well.
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Old 11-07-2007, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ron Clark:
There's more to "Gourmet Continential" food than just serving higher cut steaks.
I totally agree Ron, When I was on the spirit, I enjoyed the food and the selection was only bad a couple of nights. That really makes no difference to me because I can always enjoy a good hamburger or fish and chips.
 
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