Cruise Critic Live: Norwegian Jewel – and Answers to NCL Dining

September 2, 2014 | By | 2 Comments

A plate of gluten-free pasta served on Norwegian Jewel
We had such an amazing response to last week’s Cruise Critic Live chat on Norwegian NEXT dining that there were some questions we didn’t even get to. Frank Weber, vice president of product development with Norwegian Cruise Line, joined us for the chat last week and follows up with some responses to your lingering dining questions.
Plus, can’t get enough Norwegian? You’re in luck! News Editor Dori Saltzman is onboard Norwegian Jewel for an Alaska sailing and will be taking your questions all week. (There’s already a conversation going!) In addition, Dori will be joined by Hotel Director Ignacio Garcia this Friday, September 5 at 4 p.m. ET for an hour-long chat.
Is the chicken done in the same fryer as the fish? I have fish allergies. – Kathy Bender
A: For any food allergies, please advise the Maitre’d onboard and they will be sure to work with the chef to accommodate your needs.
Is there a chance I’d be able to eat the fish onboard? I love fish and seafood in general, but I’m severely allergic to whatever is injected into farm-raised fish. I found this out the hard way several months ago. Wild-caught only for me. – adivineeternity
A: We have a variety of fish available, from wild-caught to farm-raised. Please check with your Maitre’d onboard for specific menu items to confirm they meet your needs.
Have the lobster tails been removed from the new complimentary menus? – Jessica
A: We’re moving away from the traditional Lobster Night in the Main Dining rooms, just as we no longer offer the midnight buffet or baked Alaska parade. As a part of elevating the experience onboard and based on our guests’ feedback, we are reinventing how our guests enjoy signatures dishes such as lobster. We’re modernizing the menus and how we present this signature dish to reflect today’s restaurant standards and culinary trends. So guests will see more creative seafood specialties that still include lobster.
Cruising Norwegian before the economic crash and after, there was a noticeable difference in quality (orange juice), steaks (tough in MDR), coffee (no bean-grinding machines) and desserts (what happened to souffles several times during the cruise??) Just off the Breakaway in May and I did see that you added some new souffles – thank you! What plans do you have to improve the quality (over quantity) to make Norwegian a foodie go-to cruise line? – dalgirl
A: We continue to evolve our menu program and invest in our dining program. The new complimentary dining menus that were launched this year are just the first step in our effort of continued improvement. We closely monitor current restaurant trends to meet and exceed today’s guest expectations. Partnerships like Ocean Blue with Geoffrey Zakarian have demonstrated our commitment to quality, rather than quantity, as has the focus on smaller complimentary restaurants for a more intimate experience, rather than the massive dining rooms that you may see on other cruise lines, some with up to 2,900 seats! New innovations in food concepts will be launched on Norwegian Escape, to set the standard for the future of Norwegian’s Dining Experience. So, stay tuned for future exciting announcements soon!
I have been on over 29 Norwegian cruises and one thing I always enjoyed was the crepe suzette in LeBistro. I have noticed that is no longer offered. Is there a reason why, and can I expect to see that making a return? – Rick
A: Yes, I love it too! And I wish we could bring it back. Table side crepe suzette is not only delicious but it also showcases the skill of our dedicated restaurant servers. Unfortunately, due to regulations prohibiting open flames onboard, we had to discontinue this practice some time ago.
Will the Cadillac Diner on the Pride of America stay, or are there plans to change it? — molokai-chuck
A: At this point there are no plans to change the Cadillac Diner. Would you like it to change or do you enjoy the current experience?
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    2 Responses to “Cruise Critic Live: Norwegian Jewel – and Answers to NCL Dining”

    1. Patty
      September 2nd, 2014 @ 5:16 pm

      Although we registered my daughter as needing gluten free options and met with a Maitre’D shortly after boarding the Breakaway on 8/17/14, we had a less than favorable experience with her GF diet. Several of the Maitre’D’s did not seem very interested in assisting us. Other staff members were not very knowledgeable. The only member that was able to help us was DSilvo Manoel in the Garden Cafe and we didn’t find him until late in the week. He was wonderful. Overall we were very disappointed in the way the Breakaway handled her diet.. Previously, we had a absolutely wonderful experience with her GF needs on the Gem. What can NCL do to ensure that we would not have a repeat of this if we were to cruise the Breakaway again? Thank you.

    2. Tammy
      September 2nd, 2014 @ 10:47 pm

      Hi There~ Booked a cruise on the Spirit for the Med in April. In reading the reviews, most of the disappointment seems to be with the food. People are saying that the MDR menu stays the same every night now instead of changing every night. Is this a cruise tactic to get people to pay more by eating in the pay restaurants? Very disappointing, especially on a 12 nighter. The review also seem to state that the quality has gone way down. Why would a cruise line make the food worse? This will be my first NCL cruise but I have been on others and there is definitely a difference in the food. One cruiser stated that people on this trip should view the ship merely as a mode of transportation to get to the ports. He stated that if FOOD was your thing, book another cruise. Sad. I’m not sure if I can get excited about this one or not.

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