The food on Canadian Empress was well-prepared and consistently tasty but finicky gourmands may want to reduce expectations (or choose another type of cruise experience). All meals are served in the ship's Grand Salon. Breakfast is available from 7:30 - 9 a.m. and features a hot dish -- pancakes, eggs Benedict, etc. -- hot and cold cereal and muffins. Lunch is served promptly at 12:30 p.m. and includes a fruit or salad course, hot entree and dessert. Dinnertime on our trip was at 6:30 p.m. - though when the ship is fully at capacity it may offer two seatings. Menus included a starter, a choice between a meat and fish dish, and dessert. Occasionally, bouillon was served in the morning. In all cases, meals are open-seating.
There is no room service. There are no vegetarian entrees on the menus (aside from fruit and salad courses) but we found that, whatever the health issue, the staff was more than amenable to making changes.
Speaking of special -- the service on our trip by the handful of crew (13 in total) -- was as exceptional, prompt, courteous, genuinely friendly and efficient -- as we've experienced on even the most high-priced luxury lines.