Poll Position: MDR Malaise

October 15, 2012 | By | 2 Comments

It’s no secret that cruise lines have been offering more dining options in recent years. As many passengers opt for snazzy for-fee options, what’s become of the quality of food in the main dining room? We’re curious whether lines have decreased quality in an effort to keep costs down — or to convince cruisers to try options that will levy extra costs. As always, we were interested in tackling this question from a reader point of view.
What we asked: In the last few years, food quality in the main dining room has ___.
What they said: A whopping 52 percent of more than 4,000 respondents said the quality has declined. Another 24 percent said it depends on the ship. A further 20 percent said it’s stayed the same, and a measly 5 percent said it has improved.
What it all means: It seems food in the main dining rooms has taken a turn. The overwhelming majority of folks who commented when we posted the question to our Facebook page agreed.
“Been cruising since 1983. Declined,” says Tiff Michelle Comiskey. “No question. What they only serve in the ‘specialty’ dining rooms now used to be standard for the main dining rooms.”
“Seems to me they are trying to get us all to spend the extra $$$ and eat in the specialty dining rooms,” adds Marilyn P Daggett. “Also the ‘lobster’ dinner was more like large prawns on my last cruise. While I don’t go just for the food necessarily, it is worth noting that on some lines the portions have grown smaller….”
On the flip side, Kim Stumpf says, “No complaints here. I’ve never had a bad dining experience in the 15 or so cruises that we’ve taken.”
And Gary Barsalou mentions that “you all complain way too much – i have been in food service for 35 years and the cost of food especially in the last 3 years has risen way beyond what most people even realize- on the retail level alone, package sizes have decreased by as much as 30%, yet the cost is still the same or higher – this is serious inflation.”
What do you think about the quality of food in main dining rooms? Leave your comments below.
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    2 Responses to “Poll Position: MDR Malaise”

    1. Leviathan2772
      October 16th, 2012 @ 12:53 am

      I have been on nearly 20 cruises in the past 7 years with my wife. In order to keep cruises affordable something needs to be cut back. One item is food. Every cruise has had very good food, sometime great and even exceptional. From Carnival to Royal Caribbean to Celebrity & Azamara. Yes, serving sizes have decreased, ex. smaller Surf & Turf. Do you really need so much food, absolutely not. With regards to specialty restaurants. They are awesome. My wife would rather not spend the $, for me it ‘s dirt cheap and worth every nickel. I do not enjoy the cattle call buffet or large organized dining rooms. It is not the food, it’s the craziness, loud, rude people & a lack of decorum.

    2. bimmie girl
      October 17th, 2012 @ 11:14 am

      MDR still good but some night’s we just don’t like what they are serving. I love knowing the cruise line menu before we sail so I know which evening we would like to go to dinner in the reservation only Steak House on Carnival. there is always a night where the food selection offered is just ok……..that is our oportunity to go out for dinner, LOL. We also like getting to know the menu through reviews here on CC to see what is good and what is not. Makes our decision easier. Would hate to miss out on a free meal that is to die for.

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